Cars, Talent Competition, Concert Highlight Saturday Festival

Meridian, Mississippi Day three of the 60th annual Jimmie Rodgers concluded with a performance from country performer Rodney Atkins during the Jimmie's Jam concert.

The day started with an arts and crafts sale in Singing Brakeman Park, a chance for festival goers to purchase unique, home crafted items. The sale complemented the always popular Jimmie Rodgers Talent Competition where around 50 people took to the stage to show what they're made of.

"This is the stage of legends and the place where people of East Mississippi and West Alabama, and across the South, get to show their talent and maybe get to go on to be a star," according to Betty Lou Jones with the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation.

For many, the Jimmie Rodgers Festival is about honoring the legacy of the father of country music while having a good time. But there's the occasional festival goer who is completely new to the scene.

"I really didn't know who Jimmie Rodgers was," John Bright said. "And I've learned a great deal, a little about him and come to find out, he was quite a star from this area."

After the crafts sale and the talent competition, it was the Cruisin' with Jimmie car show on Front Street, something the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation worked to revive because it was a popular component of the festival many years ago.

"People in the Meridian area don't realize how many cars we have in a 50-mile radius, just in this area," organizer Mike Johnston said. "And to bring this many cars today has been great."

The annual Jimmie Rodgers Festival wreath laying memorial service will be held at Oak Grove Cemetery on Sunday afternoon.

Ryan Rushing from Morton won for "Youth Gospel" and "Youth Country." Amy Potter from Demopolis won "Adult Gospel" and Camilla Tutt from Demopolis won "Adult Country."

Here's the complete list of talent competition winners from the 2013 Jimmie Rodgers Festival.

Youth Gospel
1st place Ryan Rushing, Morton, Miss.
2nd place Eliza Black, Madison, Miss.
3rd place Bethanie Grace Alman, Pelahatchie, Miss.

Youth Country
1st place Ryan Rushing, Morton, Miss.
2nd place Anna Kate Humphries, Clinton, Miss.
3rd place Bethanie Grace Alman, Pelahatchie, Miss.

Adult Gospel
1st place Amy Potter, Demopolis, Ala.
2nd place Chase Sansing, Macon, Miss.
3rd place Whitley Hilderbrand, Sweetwater, Ala.

Adult Country
1st place Camilla Tutt, Demopolis, Ala.
2nd place Mallory Broadus, Thomasville, Ala.
3rd place Cecilee Crain, Meridian, Miss.


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