Discover The Grand Old Hatchery in Dickson, TN
PHOTO CREDIT: Brian McCord
Music lovers of any age are bound to have fun at the Grand Old Hatchery country music performances every Saturday night in downtown Dickson. You can hit the dance floor or kick back and listen. Either way‚ it’s a toe-tappin’ good time.
Vance Smith’s Grand Old Hatchery Music Show begins at 7 p.m. Saturday‚ and the doors open at 5. The music continues until 9:30 or a little later‚ depending on the performers‚ says Smith‚ who purchased the vacated Hatchery building in 1997.
Prior to being a venue for Saturday evening musical performances‚ the building was used for many years for hatching baby chicks‚ which were shipped all over the world. The Hatchery also was equipped with a thrashing machine and sold feed and seed.
The Grand Old Hatchery has a house band comprised of a fiddle‚ banjo‚ bass‚ electric guitars‚ drums‚ and occasionally steel guitar and keyboards. Although it’s mostly country music‚ the band and singers also perform bluegrass‚ gospel and southern rock‚ often with guest performers – sometimes more than a dozen a night. Many well-known country music performers have been on the guest performer list at The Hatchery‚ including John Rich of Big & Rich‚ Craig Morgan and Johnny Lee.
“There’s hoe-down music‚ singing‚ banjos‚ fiddles‚ cloggers and buck dancers. We have a small dance floor in front of the stage. It’s uninterrupted entertainment‚” Smith says.
There are usually about 75 to 100 people in the weekly audience‚ but The Hatchery can seat 275‚ so there’s always room for more‚ he says. Admission is $3 for seniors 65 and older; $4 for people 15-64; $1 for youth 7-14; and children 6 and under are admitted free.
If you can’t be there‚ but would like to see and hear the music‚ no problem. The complete show is videotaped and available for $10.
The Grand Old Hatchery is also home to the Liar’s Contest‚ a free event presented by the Dickson Rotary Club and held on the Friday night before Old Timer’s Day. Smith was the first grand champion winner of the Liar’s Contest‚ a competition for those who tell tall tales.
He wrote the story – about a talking cow named Betsy – and told the tale equipped with a stool‚ cordless microphone and additional props. He won $250 for his efforts.
“The stories that are told at the contest are just hilarious‚” Smith says. “It’s really fun.”
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