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40th annual Fiddlers' Frolics features complete Branson show, more live music

By by sonny long/
April 13, 2011 at 2:04 p.m.
Updated April 12, 2011 at 11:13 p.m.

The Texas State Championship,  with about 150 fiddlers from across the country competing, begins  Sunday at 1 p.m. at the annual  Fiddlers' Frolics event in Hallettsville.


Thursday 6 p.m. - Jam Session (all instruments welcome)

Friday 6 p.m. - Anything Goes Contest

Saturday 9 a.m. - Forest H. Craig Freshman Division (ages 15 and younger)

Saturday 1 p.m. - Gone to Texas (out-of-state competitors only)

Sunday 9:30 a.m. - Accompanist Contest

Sunday 11:30 a.m. - Senior Division (65 and older)

Sunday 1 p.m. - Texas State Championship

Sunday 5 p.m. - Cliff and Wanda Fryer Championship Playoff (top 3 compete for title)

For a complete schedule of all events or for more information, go to


Weekend Pass - $35

Thursday night - Free

Friday Night Inside Entertainment - $10

Friday Night Songwriter Serenade - $5

Saturday Fiddle Contest - $7

Saturday Songwriter Serenade - $5

Saturday Night Dance - $10

Sunday Fiddle Contest - $7

Children 12 & Under Free


The fifth annual Songwriter Serenade will feature 25 semi-finalists out of 85 entries from across the county competing for more than $2,750 in prize money.

The semi-finals will be held at 6 p.m. Friday with the finals at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The semi-finalists, in alphabetical order, are:

nLee Alexander, Houston

nVan Buchanan, Pearland

nLisa Byrn, Heath

nBrant Croucher, Cypress

nGarrison Doles, Orlando, Fla.

nStefanie Fix, Austin

nBrent Frailicks, Savoy

nNicolette Good, San Antonio

nKatie Gray, Austin

nKathryn Hallberg, The Woodlands

nPaula Held, Austin

nLeslie Krafka, Houston

nVanessa Lively, Austin

nMelissa Ludwig, San Antonio

nJordan Minor, New Braunfels

nZiggy Moonshine, Houston

nAmanda Mora, Driftwood

nJimmy Joe Natoli, Dale

nHavilah Rand, Austin

nMichael Romero, Austin

nRaina Rose, Austin

nJean Synodinos, Austin

nGary Taylor, Westcliffe, Colo.

nNick Verzosa, Bryan

nKeith Whitton, Nacogdoches

If you thought the annual Fiddlers' Frolics in Hallettsville was just about playing the fiddle, think again.

While the Texas State Championship - with about 150 fiddlers from across the country competing - continues to be the focal point, the 40th annual event also features a wide variety of other entertainment, the Songwriter Serenade competition, a barbecue cook-off (with sampling available for the first time), a carnival and arts and crafts vendors.

"We've really tried to step up our entertainment across the board," said Kenneth Henneke, one of the event organizers. "In addition to all the great fiddlers that will be competing, our entertainment lineup is the probably best we've ever had."

One of the entertainment highlights is Friday night's Joey Riley Comic and Music Revue from Branson, Mo.

"I want to emphasize it's his whole show, two to two and a half hours of comedy and music," said Henneke.

Riley has been featured in the Mickey Gilley Show in Branson since 1993 and started his own act at Gilley's theater in 2004.

Before Riley and company take the stage at 9 p.m. Friday inside the Knights of Columbus Hall, 321 S. U.S. Highway 77, Waylon Thibodeaux & Band will get the crowd going at 7:45 p.m. with Cajun fare.

At 3:30 p.m. Saturday, outside the hall, Walt Wilkins & The Mystiqueros will provide the music.

Saturday's dance inside the hall kicks off with Los Kolaches and is headlined by Kyle Park.

On Sunday, the Tim Hall Band will wrap up the musical entertainment from 1 to 6 p.m.

Fittingly, given the level of entertainment at this year's event, the lone inductee into the Fiddlers Hall of Fame will be the legendary musician Bob Wills. His daughter and granddaughter are expected to be on hand to accept the induction on his behalf, said Henneke.



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