The Arts Council has announced the seventh annual Official Alabama State Fiddling Championship to be held Saturday, April 28, at the Panoply Arts Festival in downtown Huntsville’s Big Spring International Park. On-site registration begins at 10 a.m. and fiddling begins at 11 a.m.
Contestants will compete for over $5,000 in cash prizes and trophies, and the competition is divided into four amateur levels based on age and one Master Fiddler level open to all ages. The winner of the “Master Fiddler” category will be awarded a cash prize of $1,000 along with the highly coveted Alabama State Championship Governor’s Cup. Competition categories are:
· Junior-Junior Division – 12 and Under
· Junior Division – 13 to 16 years old
· Adult Division – 17 to 59 years old
· Senior Division – 60 years old and over
· Master Division – All Ages
Each year , the Alabama State Fiddling Championship draws fiddlers from across the nation. In addition to the on-stage competition, any and all fiddlers visiting Panoply are encouraged to bring their instruments and add to the entertainment with “shade-tree pickin’” throughout the day of competition on Saturday, April 28.
Alabama State Fiddling Championship founders and co-chairs Representative Mike Ball and national fiddle legend Dr. Mark Ralph are returning to the event in 2012, and Ralph and others are expected to take the stage during breaks in the competition. Allison Dillon-Jauken, Executive Director of The Arts Council, said, “The Alabama State Fiddling Championship is one of the highlights of the Panoply Arts Festival each year. Besides the official competition on stage, there’s always at least one shade tree jam going on so it adds to Panoply’s festive atmosphere. Participants and audience members alike experience a memorable, toe-tapping day of music.”
The Panoply Arts Festival opens on April 27 and continues through April 29. Daily admission to Panoply is $5 and weekend Panopasses are $10 for admission to all activities all weekend. Children 12 and under are free. For more information and to pre-register for the Official Alabama State Fiddling Championship go to www.artshuntsville.org.