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Three Days of Fiddling Fun

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Athens, Ala. – Each year, hundreds of fiddlers and thousands of visitors make their way to the North Alabama town of Athens, Ala. in October for the “Granddaddy of Midsouth Fiddlers Conventions.” The Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention is set for October 3-5, 2019, on the campus of Athens State University in Athens, Ala., and during the three day event a new Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddle champion will be crowned. Along with the competition, the event offers concerts, food vendors and arts and crafts on a theme of authentic workmanship while celebrating traditional old time music.

Now in its 53rd year, the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention attracts approximately 15,000 folk music fans and more than 200 musicians who will be vying for over $18,000 in prize money in 19 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 on Saturday evening. The winning fiddler is declared the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddle Champion. Competition gets underway Friday at 7 p.m. and resumes Saturday at 8:30 a.m. Finals are held on Alabama Farmers Cooperative Main Stage at Founders Hall beginning at 8 p.m.

Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper will perform Thursday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. during a free preview night to kick off the convention. The complimentary concert will take place on the Alabama Farmers Cooperative Main Stage and will be open to the public. Bluegrass legend, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, will take over the Alabama Farmers Cooperative Main Stage for a second straight year and will perform shows at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4. With a career that spans over 50 years, Skaggs has racked up 15 Grammys and 12 #1 hits, making him one of the greatest bluegrass artists of all time. Athens, Alabama native, Bradley Walker and the Lonesome River Band, will wrap up the entertainment portion of the convention with a performance at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 on the Alabama Farmers Cooperative Main Stage.

The convention also includes a variety of food vendors and approximately 150 old-fashioned juried arts and crafts booths offering an assortment of items from traditional artwork to coal-fired metal works with an emphasis on handmade creations.

Cost of admission is $15 per adult for Friday, $15 per adult for Saturday, or $20 per adult for a weekend pass. Children under 12 will be admitted free with a paid adult. Tickets can be purchased online or are available from the Athens State Business Office located in Founders Hall at 300 North Beaty Street. Gates open at 6 p.m. on Thursday, 8 a.m. on Friday and 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. In event of rain, the competition will be held in Carter Gymnasium with limited capacity. Pets and coolers are not allowed. Festivalgoers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.tvotfc.org or call Tonyia Bowling at 256.233.8183.

Written by 49 County News.Net

September 2, 2019 at 5:20 PM

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