July 9, 2012. The 18th annual Alleghany County Fiddlers Convention is Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21, at the Higgins Agricultural Fairgrounds in Sparta. The contests begin at 6 p.m. Friday and at 10 a.m. Saturday, with a band championship playoff slated for Saturday night. The show features competition in bluegrass and old time categories, including youth, adult, 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.
The Junior Appalachian Musicians and cloggers will be featured as special entertainment. 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.
Emcees are Sonia Joines and Tarras Day. Vendors will offer food and other items.
People who want to compete may 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 the competitive events share $2,850 in cash prizes and will receive ribbons.
Proceeds go to the Sparta-Alleghany Volunteer Fire Department and the nonprofit fairgrounds for future improvements.