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Old Time Fiddler’s Convention slated July 18

By By Adam Prestridge
Bluegrass lovers from near and far will converge on Atmore in mid-July as they enjoy toe-tapping music as part of the 30th annual Atmore Rotary Club’s South Alabama Old Time Fiddler’s Convention.
All the last-minute preparations are being made and soon the fiddling will begin.
Event coordinator Keith Castleberry said preparations for the music event are coming along “very nicely.” He also expects this year’s Fiddler’s Convention to be just as entertaining as in years past because of the feedback he receives from musicians.
This year’s Fiddler’s Convention is scheduled for 2 p.m. on July 18 at Rachel Patterson Elementary School located at 1102 E. Craig St. Castleberry said since this year marks a milestone for the Rotary Club event, some changes are in store.
Castleberry added that the event will sell its famous barbecue cooked by John and Kathy Swift of the award-winning BBQ team, Wild Bunch Butt Burners.
Originally, the Fiddler’s Convention was held to help pay for the Rotary Village. When the Rotary Village became self-supporting about 10 years later, the Atmore Rotary Club adopted a new program, the Rotary Academic All-Stars program. Now the Fiddler’s Festival pays for the scholarships awarded to those students that maintain academic excellence.
Castleberry not only credits the participation of musicians for the event’s success over the past three decades, but also the support from the people and businesses of Atmore.
The quality of entertainment at the Fiddler’s Convention has also maintained due to the dedication of Rotary members.
Categories for the event include, vocal band, string band, guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro and fiddle. First-place prize for vocal and string band are $200 each, $100 for second and $50 for third. Guitar, mandolin, banjo and dobro winners will receive $100 each with second and third place receiving $75 and $50 respectfully.
The big winner of the night will be the musician who takes home the $1,000 top prize in the fiddling contest. Runner-up will win $200 and third place will claim $100.
Admission is $9 for adults and $5 for children. Infants are admitted for free.