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World's Oldest and Largest Old Fiddlers' Convention Aug 5-10

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Old Fiddlers' ConventionThe 78th Annual Old Fiddlers' Convention takes place in Galax, Virginia this weekend, August 5-10, 2013. Before the second weekend in August each year, lovers of country, bluegrass, old-time and mountain music leave their homes in time to be in Galax, VA for the Annual Old Fiddler's Convention. For some this means hundreds of miles of travel, while for others it will be a short trip from their nearby homes. Most of these people don't play music, and come just for the listening and renewing old acquaintances.

However, a few hundred come with their instruments to show their skill, and compete for the cash prizes which total thousands of dollars. But most of them would come without the prizes being offered. They want to see and be seen, and hear and be heard. The instruments vary from mouth harps in pockets to bull fiddles strapped on top of cars. Many of these musicians have played in most of the conventions since 1935, but this group is growing smaller by the year.

The Old Fiddler's Convention was originated in the spring of 1935 when a few members of the then new Moose Lodge #733 needed something to raise funds and promote publicity. In a newspaper item at the time it was stated that the Convention was dedicated to "Keeping alive the memories and sentiments of days gone by and make it possible for people of today to hear and enjoy the tunes of yesterday". The original purpose is held in the same regard today, and the sponsors feel that in some measure this purpose has been accomplished.

This exciting convention features fiddlers in all age groups and styles, dobro, mandolin, dulcimer and bluegrass banjo competitions. Additional competitions including clawhammer banjo, guitar, band (old-time and bluegrass), folk song, and even flat food dance are all a part of this week long event.

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