July 15, 2013. The 19th annual Alleghany County Fiddlers Convention will be held on Friday and Saturday, July 19 and 20, at the Higgins Agricultural Fairgrounds in Sparta.
The convention opens with special entertainment by the Junior Appalachian Musicians at 5 p.m. Friday. Competition starts at 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday, with a band championship playoff slated for Saturday night.
The show features competition in bluegrass and old time categories, including youth, adults, bands and individuals. Dance contests for all ages are held at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.
On Saturday night, the top scoring old time and bluegrass bands will return to the stage for grand championship playoffs beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $6 for Friday, $7 for Saturday or $10 for both days. Children under 12 are admitted free with a paying adult. The fairgrounds has covered grandstand seating and space for lawn chairs.
People who want to compete can register backstage at the convention. Categories are bluegrass bands, old time bands, old time and bluegrass fiddle, old time and bluegrass banjo, mandolin, guitar, acoustic bass, autoharp, dulcimer, Dobro, vocal and harmonica.
Junior categories (age 16 and under) are band, fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin and bass.
Winners of competitive events share $2,850 in cash prizes and will receive ribbons.
The Patrick Henry Travelers and Footloose Express cloggers will be featured as special entertainment throughout the weekend.
Emcees are Sonia Joines, Tarras Day and Dale Morris. Vendors will offer food and other items. Sound is by Tim Varner.
Proceeds go to the Sparta-Alleghany Volunteer Fire Department and the nonprofit fairgrounds for future improvements.