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Old-Time Music Comes to Life in Mt. Airy, Feb. 23-25



MOUNT AIRY, N.C. - Mount Airy embraces its roots as a hot bed for old-time music with the 11th annual Tommy Jarrell Festival, Feb. 23-25.

The festival attracts many of the top names in old-time music to celebrate the legacy of Jarrell, a Smithsonian-enshrined fiddler and banjo player who greatly influenced the genre.

This year's lineup includes: Slate Mountain Ramblers, Back-Step, and the Buckstankle Boys, as well as Toast String Stretchers accompanied by award-winning journalist/musician Paul Brown of NPR.

Saturday night's Tommy Jarrell Birthday Concert features eight-year-old fiddle prodigy Carson Peters and his world-renowned Carson Peters Band from Tennessee. The birthday concert pays tribute to Hall of Fame fiddler Benton Flippen, a Mount Airy native who died last June.
Other activities during the three days are: dance workshops, music workshops, jam sessions, concerts and displays of hand-crafted fiddles, banjos and other string instruments.
There's also a youth old-time competition that draws several dozen contestants between the ages of 5-18.
A highlight this year will be the ribbon-cutting of the restored and renovated historic Earle Theatre on Main Street. In recent years, the theatre has been known as the Downtown Cinema, but officials from the Surry Arts Council are bringing back the venue's original name.
Several events of the Tommy Jarrell Festival will take place in the Earle, which is also the new location for Mount Airy's Old-Time Music Heritage Hall.

There is no cost to attend the majority of festival activities. Costs for the four events that require tickets range from $3-$10.

For information or a schedule of activities, contact the Surry Arts Council at (336) 786-7998, or visit:

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