Sawing on a fiddle and playing it hot

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dozens of fiddlers will rosin up their bows to compete Friday and Saturday in the 34th annual State of Tennessee Old Time Fiddlers' Championships in Clarksville, Tenn.

Fiddlers, guitarists, dancers and harmonica players will compete starting at 7 p.m. Friday and at 9 a.m. Saturday in the auditorium of Rossview High School. Friday's events are single eliminations only for dobro, bluegrass banjo, mandolin, guitar and old-time band. The classifications range from Pee-Wee for 10 and younger to Seniors for players older than 50.

The two-day festival culminates with a good old-fashioned fiddle-off Saturday night. There will even be a dancing competition to music provided by an old time band.

"It's basically clogging," master of ceremonies Tad Bourne said.

Bourne has been the master of ceremonies for 14 years. He said the youngest competitor he has seen was 9 and the oldest was "75 or better."

The competition is open to people from any state. Bourne said they have even hosted Canadians in the contest. Signups are ongoing.

"As long as you get your name in before the first person starts in your particular category, we'll let you play," he said.

Some events are single elimination and do not have finals. All other events will have preliminaries and finals. Admission is $8 Friday, $10 Saturday or $15 for a two-day ticket.

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