Shortly after 3 p.m. guests began flocking to the center lawn in front of Ashe County Park’s Blevins Stage in anticipation of Friday evening’s opening acts. Shortly after 6 p.m., local legend Steve Lewis took to the stage for an exhibition pickin’ as contestants began to line up behind the stage for the folk songs and adult individual competition. Pickers and vocalists from as far as Sugar Grove and Cleveland, N.C entertained fans with short selections in the Old Time Fiddle and Banjo competition including “Wild Horse”, “Cabin Creek”, and “Cheating Heart.”
Some pickers could not wait for their turn to impress the audience and this weekend’s panel of judges as some musicians was spotted in the park’s grassy parking lot as they circumspectly tuned their instruments for an optimal performance. Banjo picker Lynn Worth of Lansing said she was hoping for a ‘good performance’ during Friday evening’s competition as she tuned her banjo while perching on the bumper of a hatchback vehicle. Worth was joined by local guitarist Eddy Bakeberg of Lansing in Friday’s pregame picking.
Following the recognition of this year’s Jeffersons Rotary Club 2009 Scholarship winners, the Bluegrass and Old Time Band competitions got underway. Throughout the weekend’s competition, over $3,600 was awarded in numerous instrumental categories including the guitar, banjo, mandolin and the resonator guitar-dobro. Each evening also featured dance performances to accentuate the melodic sounds of the weekend’s performances.
The convention marked the event’s inaugural two-day event and featured the addition of camping along some advised rules and cash prizes in the youth division, the convention’s Website stated. A few new judges were also thrown in the mix to further enhance the experience.
For more information on the convention, please visit www.ashefiddlers.com.