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Annual Fiddlers’ convention to ascend on Laurel Bloomery

Musicians enjoy playing some of their favorite songs during the Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention held last month at the Old Mill Music Park in Laurel Bloomery, TN. The annual the two-day festival celebrated its 93rd Anniversary, drawing a large crowd to the oldest convention in Appalachia. Submitted photo

By Tamas Mondovics

The annual Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention at the Old Mill Music Park in Laurel Bloomery, TN, is once again welcoming musicians, music lovers and fans alike from near and far.
This year’s convention scheduled for Friday, August 23 and Saturday, 24, 2019, will be celebrating the event’s 94th anniversary.
Competition categories include Band, Fiddle, Twin Fiddle, Banjo, Autoharp, Mandolin, Bass Fiddle, Dulcimer, Guitar, Folk Song, Vocal Duet, Harmonica, Adult Dance, Youth Dance, Youth Band, Youth Fiddle, Youth Banjo, and Youth Guitar.
According to Amanda Poteat, who has been helping with the Fiddlers’ Convention for more than 15 years said that the
event started in Mountain City in 1925 at the old high
school. “About 30 years ago, it was to be dismissed and my father, Douglas Warden, decided to take it in and continue this tradition,” Poteat said
adding that her dad passed
away in 2004, but his wife, Jackie, decided to keep his spirit alive through the musical celebration. The two-day festival is proud of its heritage while boasting of the recognition as the oldest convention in Appalachia.
For visitor’s delight, pictures of past competitors hang in the building, backstage. Between 150 and 250 competitors attend each year, while Poteat emphasized, “the crowds consist of that much more.”
“You can hear music playing all hours of the nights,” she
said. “It is strictly an old-time competition, but if you go through the fields, you can
hear some bluegrass,” she added. If you have any
questions, feel free to contact Jackie Warden at (423) 727-9595.