The Granddaddy of Them All
ATHENS, Ala. (WBRC) - Thousands of visitors and musicians will make their way to the North Alabama town of Athens this week for the “Granddaddy of Midsouth Fiddlers Conventions.” The Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention is set to return to the campus of Athens State University and will run from October 6-8. Along with the crowning of a new Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddle champion, the three-day event offers concerts, food vendors and arts and crafts on a theme of authentic workmanship while celebrating traditional old-time music.
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 $47,000 in prize money in 19 different categories of competition, including several fiddle and guitar categories, mandolin, bluegrass, banjo, old time singing and Appalachian buck dancing. The Convention culminates on Saturday evening when the new Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddle champion is announced. Competition gets underway Friday at 7 p.m. and resumes Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Finals are held on the Founders Hall stage beginning at 7 p.m.
To kick off the convention, Darin and Brooke Aldridge will perform Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7:00 p.m. during a free preview night. The complimentary concert will take place on the main stage at Founders Hall and will be open to the public.
Additional entertainment includes Balsam Range, set to perform at 5 p.m. on the main stage at Founders Hall Friday, Oct. 7. Rhonda Vincent and The Rage will wrap up the entertainment portion of the convention with a performance at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8 on the main stage at Founders Hall. Access to the two concerts is included with the purchase of an admission ticket.
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 will be open for business during festival hours.
Cost of admission is $20 per adult for Friday, $20 per adult for Saturday, or $25 per adult for a weekend pass. Children under 12 will be admitted free with a paid adult. Tickets can be purchased at the gate or online at this link. 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, visit their website here.
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