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Bluegrass takes spotlight at annual Fiddler's Convention

By By BRIAN BLACKLEY
Advance Publisher
For 22 years, a hometown Bluegrass music festival aptly called the Fiddler's Convention has delighted local audiences, and this year is not expected to be an exception.
Sponsored by the Atmore Rotary Club as a fundraiser for the civic group's many community activities, Friday's Fiddler's Convention combines the folksy flavor of traditional Bluegrass country music with a low-stakes competition designed to give singers, fiddlers and other stringed instrument players a chance to show their stuff in a friendly competition sanctioned by the state of Alabama.
The convention, filled with a rich history in itself as well as in the music it features, helps Atmore Rotarians raise money for scholarships, one of the club's most expensive undertakings of the year.
Scheduled at the Escambia County High School Gym beginning Friday at 5:30 p.m., the event is expected to draw musicians hoping for their big breaks from all over the Southeast.
The trick to the convention is that there's no pre-registration. Muisicians have up until noon on the day of the event to get entered to play.
The afternoon will kick off with the vocal band competition at 5:30. To enter, there must be at least three voices singing in harmony at the vocal band competition event.
Following will be the strings bands, guitar players, banjo players, mandolin players, dobro players. The event will culminate in the fiddling contest, the last event of the night.
Other highlights of the event will be good cooking. Rotarians are planning to barbecue Boston butts for sandwiches and soft drinks will also be sold at the event.
Admission for spectators is $5 for adults and $3 for children.