After a hugely successful first year, the Twin Lakes National Fiddler Championship returns again this coming weekend on Saturday, July 20 on the square in Leitchfield, KY. The marquee event of the now combined Twin Lakes Fiddle Festival and Freedom Festival, in 2012 the competition had 45 fiddlers from 5 different states and guests from as far away as Texas.
This year’s contest boasts increased prize money across all categories, more finalist places in the fiddle divisions, and the addition of competitions in flat pick guitar, bluegrass banjo, and mandolin.
Leitchfield and Grayson County KY have been a hotbed of fiddling and music for many years. The hometown of National Oldtime Fiddlers Association members Doug Fleener, Mark Ralph, and Ed Carnes, many other competitive fiddlers including Erik Payton, Adam French, Joseph Alexander, Shawn Whitely and Jimmy Mattingly have also came from Grayson County.
The competition will continue to recognize the contributions of some of the local fiddlers that have represented the community in the past, such as Herman Alvey, Bud Meredith and Lonnie Peerce by naming awards for them. Local organizers of the original KY State Fiddler Championship Jodie Hall and Leo Mudd will also be honored with awards presented in their names with the Overall Fiddle Champion award being known as the “Jodie Hall Trophy”.
This year’s festivities include the return of the Fiddle Festival Queen Pageant again hosted and emceed by Miss Kentucky 2011 Ann-Blair Thornton, a car show, vendor booths, a Square Dance show and demonstration by the 12 time Tennessee State Champion Square Dance Team the "Rocky Top Revue" from Franklin, TN, a street dance after the contest by “The Jack Thomas Band”, as well as all the Freedom Fest activities on the courthouse square for the entire family. All events are free.
In 2012 it was estimated that over 2,000 people attended the festivities with the average crowd size over 500 people. The event organizers believe this year’s attendance could be higher and this will be an annual event for each third weekend in July.
The Fiddle Festival Queen Pageants starts at 6:00 p.m. Friday, July 19 at the GCMS auditorium and the Fiddle contest will be held Saturday, July 20, 2013 on the Courthouse Square in Leitchfield, beginning at 10 a.m.