Planning for the new fiddling contest this month is nearly complete, organizers said recently.
The Twin Lakes National Fiddlers Championship will take over Courthouse Square on July 21. In addition to musical performances on the east side of the square, food and craft vendors will be set up along the west and south sides. A “car cruise” car show will be held just north of the square.
Steven Elder, a Leitchfield businessman and city council member who is helping organize the festival, has said the goal is to make this a community celebration of bluegrass music.
After word broke in April that the 2012 Official Kentucky State Championship Old Time Fiddlers Contest has been called off because a sponsor couldn’t be found, Elder and Joseph Alexander, a past winner of the state championship, teamed up with Leitchfield native and five-state fiddle champion Ed Carnes to organize another contest.
Three nationally certified judges — Grayson County native Mark Ralph, Junior Marriott and Bobby Taylor — will preside over the new contest. Some scaling back from the previous categories at the Official Kentucky State Championship Old Time Fiddlers Contest has been planned, to focus more on fiddling.
“We’ve already received several registrations from fiddlers coming in,” Elder said Friday afternoon, June 29. “They hadn’t done a lot of pre-registering in the past, and all these are out-of-town folks.”
Arrangements will be similar to those for Communicare’s “Falling for Communicare” fundraiser in November. The square will be closed to all vehicular traffic for the day and most of the evening. In fact, volunteers who help with the Communicare fundraiser are stepping forward to help with food vending, and the Leitchfield Woman’s Club will be helping out with registering the musicians, Elder said.
Organizers have a commitment from the Rocky Top Revue Square Dance Team to perform at the contest. The Franklin, Tenn.-based team, which has been performing for more than 25 years, has won 12 state championships. Its members blend traditional square dancing with buck dancing and modern clogging.
The car cruise will be open to all cars, trucks and bikes, with everything from street rods to rat rods featured.
Also planned are a bouncy house and other children’s activities, dancing, and a queen/princess pageant.
Elder said current plans are for the activities to begin around 10 a.m. and continue through the evening.
“The more exciting features will probably come in the afternoon, with the Rocky Top Revue and the announcement of some community awards,” he said.
Admission to the fiddling championship will be free.