Rotary tuning up for Fiddlers Convention

Published 3:46 am Wednesday, June 20, 2007

By By Adam Prestridge
If you can fiddle a good tune and want to pad your wallet, the 28th annual Atmore Rotary Club Fiddlers Convention might be your ticket.
For the first time in the history of the event, the prize for the winning fiddler has more than tripled from $300 to $1,000.
"Not much is new this year, except for the prize money, and I believe that's getting a lot of attention," event coordinator Keith Castleberry said Tuesday.
The additional money for the grand prize is being made possible by Walter Bowens of WNSI 105.9 FM in the form of a memorial for Wade "Pappy" Ray, a well-known fiddler.
The event will be held at 2 p.m. on July 21 in the Escambia County High School auditorium. The house band will be "Down Home."
"One of the things I believe people like about our event is that we're in a nice air conditioned place, so we can stand the rain and stand the heat," Castleberry said. "A lot of people have them outside in the heat."
Although a month away, Castleberry said plans are well under way.
"So far everything is going good," he said. "We've got the judges lined up. We are having such a good response, we may expand the judges from three to five."
In fact, there has already been a lot of inquiries about this year's contest.
"We're expecting a big fiddler crowd," Castleberry said. "We're getting a lot of emails and phone calls at the office and at the Chamber, so we're expecting a good turnout. We're just hoping for our regular crowd and about 300 more."
Jerry Gehman will serve as the event's master of ceremonies.
The categories of competition are as follows: vocal groups (acappela is acceptable), bands, dobro, banjo, guitar, mandolin and fiddlers. There is no registration fee. Awards are first place $100, second $75 and third $50 except for fiddlers, which is first $1,000, second $200 and third $100.
Registration begins at 10 a.m. Tickets are $9 for adults and $5 for children six to 12 years old. Children five and under will be admitted for free.
Barbecue by Atmore resident John Swift of the award-winning cooking group, Wild Butt Burners, will be available for purchase along with refreshments.
If anyone has questions, call 368-2106 or email Keith Castleberry at You can also call the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce at 368-3305.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox