FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association
PHONE: 256.350.3500 / 800.648.5381
50 Years of Fiddling Fun
Set for October 6-8, 2016, the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention returns to the campus of Athens State University, located in Athens, Ala. Also known as “Granddaddy of Midsouth Fiddlers Conventions,” the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention celebrates its 50th anniversary of honoring traditional old-time music and along with the selecting a new Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddle Champion, this year’s event includes special performances by bluegrass band Bobby Osborne and Rocky Top X-Press, American Western music and comedy group Riders in the Sky and Americana and folk musicians Norman Blake, Nancy Blake and James Bryan.
Along with 15,000 visitors, the two-day event attracts more than 200 musicians who will be vying for over $18,000 in prize money in 18 different categories, including several fiddle and guitar categories, harmonica, mandolin, bluegrass banjo, dulcimer, old time singing, banjo, and buck dancing. The Convention culminates in a "fiddle-off," between the top two fiddlers. The winning fiddler is declared "Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddle Champion," and takes home a trophy and a $1,200 cash prize. Competition gets underway Friday at 7 p.m. and resumes Saturday at 8:30 a.m.
A special 50th anniversary concert featuring Bobby Osborne and Rocky Top X-Press (www.bobbyosborne.com) is planned for Thursday, October 6 at 7 p.m. in McCandless Hall. Admission is free and seating is limited. Friday night’s special guest performer on the Alabama Farmers Cooperative Stage is Riders in the Sky (www.ridersinthesky.com). Show times are at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. On Saturday at 5 p.m., entertainment is provided by Norman Blake, Nancy Blake and James Bryan.
The convention also includes a variety of food vendors and approximately 150 old-fashioned arts and crafts booths offering an assortment of items from traditional artwork to coal-fired metal works.
Admission is $15 on Friday and $15 on Saturday or $20 for both days. Children under 12 years old are admitted free with a parent. Gates open at 8 a.m. on Friday and at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. Competitions are held on the steps of Founders Hall on the Alabama Farmers Cooperative Main Stage and the Brown Hall Stage. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. In event of rain, it will be held in the gymnasium with limited capacity. Pets and coolers are not allowed. For more information, visit www.athens.edu/fiddlers or call Terry Stepp at 256.233.8241.