JEFFERSON — An Ashe County tradition like no other, the Ashe County Bluegrass and Old Time Fiddlers Convention will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019. Hosted by Ashe County Park in Jefferson July 26 and 27, the festival is a celebration of the High Country’s traditional music of choice.
Friday, July 26, features a host of activities for everyone to enjoy. Workshops in the morning will help visitors get in-tune with the traditional music and a good, old-fashioned barn dance caps off the first day at 7 p.m. Trish Kilby and the Dixie Wildcats will be joined by dance caller John Turner who will be calling reels, big circles, four couple figures and more. Admission to the barn dance is $5 per person while children younger than 12 get in free.
The next day is where the fun really begins, when the competitions start. It begins at noon with the youth competitions, the adult individual instruments competition is at 2 p.m., a dance competition at 6 p.m. before it’s capped off but he band competitions at 7:30 p.m. After all, enjoying traditions is great but winning can’t be beat. Musicians will register the day of the competition, performance slots will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis. Competition winners in adult categories will be awarded with cash prizes.
In honor of the 50th edition of the festival, workshops will be available starting the day before the convention. Between 4 and 7 p.m., there will be a Bluegrass Jam Camp with Gilbert Nelson, which will carry over to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. Terry Baucom will be hosting a banjo workshop and an open jam on Saturday as well.
Camping spots are available starting Wednesday, July 24 on a first-come-first-serve basis. Throughout the festival there will be and arts and crafts area highlighting luthiers from the area.
Full competition rules, schedules, and awards can be found at www.ashefiddlersconvention.org. Admission is $5 Friday only, $10 Saturday only or $15 for both. Tickets can be purchased on site or by calling the Ashe County Arts Council at (336) 846-2787.