Tazewell County Fiddlers' Convention this weekend - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Tazewell County Fiddlers' Convention this weekend

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TAZEWELL (NEWS RELEASE) -- The 11th Annual Tazewell County Old Time & Bluegrass Fiddlers' Convention welcomes traditional mountain musicians July 12-14th with a visitor-friendly format for spectators and musicians alike.  "We are back in Nuckoll's Hall at the Tazewell County Fairgrounds like last year, so there'll be a great time for all no matter the weather," says Charlotte Whitted, Executive Director of Crab Orchard Museum and event coordinator.  "Last year we had a storm on Saturday night, and everyone was grateful to be inside enjoying the music with seating, food, and beautiful quilts on display in the air-conditioned comfort of the building. Pickers still had plenty of covered spaces throughout the campground for jamming, too."

On Friday, July 12th from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. the convention welcomes youth performers, featuring Dale Elswick's Youth All Stars. "Passing the music down is an important part of our mission with this event.  The kids are talented musicians that are sure to give an inspiring show."  At 7:30 p.m. Ron & Rory Mullennex will lead a group of pickers to the stage as Crab Orchard Museum staff member Joan Yates calls a square dance until 9:00 p.m.  "We teach several dances to our Pioneer Youth Apprentices at camp, including the Virginia Reel, the Galiopede, the Patty Cake Polka, Oh Susannah, waltzes, and more.  Museum volunteers and staff will be on hand to help teach newcomers the steps."  Mayflower Restaurant will offer hot dog, hamburger or barbecue dinners for sale as attendees relax and enjoy the show.  Mayflower will provide food throughout the weekend.  David & Mattie Schlabach are making ice cream on site again, and there will be delicious kettle corn available, too.  Band competition will round out the evening with Old Time at 9:00 and Bluegrass at 10:00 p.m. "Although we don't require bands to compete both nights, it's to a band's advantage to perform both nights, since we drop the lower score," advises Whitted.  Friday night's events are sponsored by Harry Rentals.

Saturday, July 13th's competitions start at 10:00 a.m. with Youth, Folk Song, Individual Instruments (Guitar, Mandolin, Dobro, Harmonica, Dulcimer, Bass & Autoharp), Fiddle & Banjo Duet, Old Time Banjo, Bluegrass banjo, Old Time Fiddle, and Bluegrass Fiddle.  At 6:30 p.m. the Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented, followed by a full stage of past and current honorees singing "Will the Circle Be Unbroken."  "That's my favorite part," continues Whitted.  "I love to be on stage with so many who have done so much to preserve the music.  This year we will honor Phil & Kay Bevins, Dale Elswick, Mike Hankins and Oscar Wright (posthumous) with Lifetime Achievement Awards, all most deserving."

Saturday night Band competition finals are 7:00 – 11:00 p.m. sponsored by Hurst-Scott Funeral Homes of Richlands & Tazewell as well as CONSOL Energy, with alternating sets of Old Time and Bluegrass.  The dance competition follows while the final results are tallied.  Awards will be announced following the dance competition.  Over $5000 in cash and prizes will be awarded, and one talented competitor will be recognized as Best All-Around Performer.

On Sunday, July 14th a Gospel Sing is slated in Nuckoll's Hall from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. led by Dale Elswick, Randy Fielder and friends.  Bluegrass Gospel bands will play 10:00- 11:00 a.m., followed by a non-denominational service, with more live music 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. Admission on Sunday is free and the community is invited to attend.

Gates open at 12:00 noon on Friday, July 12th and on-site camping is encouraged.  "This is a fundraiser for Crab Orchard Museum, so the more the merrier."  Camping is first-come, first served, with two dumping stations on-site and no hook-ups.  Water outlets are available.  Self-contained RVs welcome.  Primitive camping spaces are free, RV spaces $20/night.  Food is available on-site as well.

Weekend passes for $12 or single day passes for $7 are available at the gate.   Kids 12 and under are free with an accompanying adult.  Competitors receive an event tee-shirt after competing.  Food is sold separately. 

Gates will close at 3:00 p.m. Sunday.  The Tazewell County Old Time & Bluegrass Fiddlers' Convention is an Affiliated Partner of The Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail.  The event is made possible by several sponsors, including Platinum media partners WVVA, Kicks Country Radio, and Time Warner Cable.  For more information, go to craborchardmuseum.com or call the museum at 276-988-6755.

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