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Fiddlers Frolics continues tradition in Hallettsville

By JR Ortega
April 23, 2014 at 5:04 p.m.
Updated April 23, 2014 at 11:24 p.m.

Julie Amundson plays the fiddle with her band during the Fiddlers Frolics Texas State Fiddling Championship at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Hallettsville in 2013.

Hey diddle, diddle; Hallettsville is ready to fiddle.

Now in its 44th year, the city's Fiddlers Frolics is ready to continue its tradition of fiddle playing and community entertainment, said John Stuart Fryer, one of four fiddling competition chairmen.

Fryer's father was one of several founders, and after his father died in 1990, Fryer moved back to Hallettsville to continue the event's legacy.

"It's a nice reunion, that's the fun thing," he said. "People come from all over the country."

The four-day event brings in about 110 fiddlers ready to be named best fiddler.

Fiddlers Frolics has become more than just a fiddle competition, Fryer said. It has become a true family event.

"It's growing in multiple stages," he said.

Each day is packed with entertainment.

The event kicks off Thursday with a free-for-all jam session, in which people can bring their fiddles, guitars or other instruments.

On Friday, artists Waylon Thibodeaux, Kevin Naquin & The Ossun Playboys and comedian Jonathan Perry will perform.

Festival-goers can sample crawfish, gumbo, red beans and rice or the barbecue and hamburgers that will be available outside the Knights of Columbus Hall.

But Saturday and Sunday is when Fiddlers Frolics really lives up to its name with its fiddling contests.

The Forest Craig Freshman Division for fiddlers under 15 years old begins at 9 a.m. Saturday with prizes awarded to the top 10.

At 1 p.m. Saturday, out-of-state competitors get a chance to vie for the title of best fiddler. The top 20 will receive prize money, with a first-place prize of $1,400.

The Scott Taylor Band and Cody Johnson and The Rockin will also perform Saturday.

A cook-off will take place as well.

The guitar accompanist contest will be Sunday with prizes awarded to the top 10. The winner will receive $300. Texas fiddlers will also be inducted into the hall of fame.

The Texas State Championship Fiddle Contest follows, and the top 20 will be awarded prize money. There is also a senior fiddler division in which prize money is awarded to the top 10 with a first prize of $300.

The event ends at 5 p.m. with the Cliff and Velda Fryer Championship Play Off, in which the top 10 contestants will compete for the title of 2014 Texas State Champion Fiddler. The winner will receive $1,500.

The entire event is a fun time in Hallettsville, Fryer said.

"We want to be the best fiddle contest in the world, and I think we do have it," he said. "Our contestants will tell you that."



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