June 30, 2022
By: Dwayne Page
Its showtime in Smithville as the Fiddlers Jamboree and Crafts Festival returns to town with thousands expected for the acclaimed festival. Every day, Friday and Saturday, July 1 and 2 starts at 9 a.m. with over 35 categories of music and dance, streets full of crafts and food stalls galore.
The Community Chorus headlined a pre-jamboree patriotic program Thursday night in downtown Evins Park, joined by the Smithville Select Dancers and the DeKalb Dancin’ Delights led by Mary Ann Puckett.
The choir will once again be featured on the Jamboree stage as part of the official welcoming ceremony on Friday evening around 6pm with the display of the colors and brief remarks by local government and community leaders. A United States flag and a Tennessee state flag will also be presented by State Senator Mark Pody and State Representatives Terri Lynn Weaver and Clark Boyd to those who traveled the greatest distances to arrive. here, both from inside and outside the country. Fiddler’s Jamboree Craft Awards will be presented over the weekend for ‘Best of Show’, ‘Best Appalachian Craft’, ‘Best Newcomer’ and ‘Best Craft Display’.
Country bluegrass band The Kody Norris Show will be honored Saturday, July 2 at 5 p.m. as the recipient of the 2022 Blue Blaze Award followed by a mini-concert performed by the band on the main stage.
Meanwhile, the Grand Ole Opry has agreed to invite the 2022 Grand Fiddle Off Champion to perform a “fiddle tune” for the Opry Square Dancers’ live performance at a selected show. (to be determined)
Preliminaries will take place in the following categories on Friday, July 1:
Old Appalachian folk song (solo); junior clogging (13-39 years old); Junior Buck Dancing (13-39 years old); Old Appalachian folk song (duet, trio, quartet); Dobro Guitar; Mountain dulcimer; Dulcimer Hammer; Novelty event (spoon slamming, jug blowing, washboard, bathtub, Appalachian saws); Autoharp, Gospel Song (Solo); country harmonica; Old fashioned banjo; Youth Square Dance (4 couples – 8 dancers in total); Gospel singing (Duo, Trio and Quartet); Mandolin; and Old Time Fiddle Band.
The top three performers in each category will be called up for Friday night’s final and first, second and third place will be awarded.
On Saturday July 2, the preliminaries will take place in the following categories:
Junior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance (up to age 39); Senior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance (40+); Senior Buckdancing (40+); Senior Clogging (40 years and over); bluegrass banjo; junior violinists (13 to 39); Flat Top Guitar; Contest Fiddle for the Neil Dudney Award; bluegrass band; Senior Violinists (40+); and square dancing (4 couples – 8 dancers in total).
Preliminaries will take place in each event, then the top three finishers will be called up on Saturday night to compete for first, second and third place.
The winners of the Junior and Senior Violin Competition will compete for the grand champion prize, the Berry C. Williams Memorial Trophy at the end of the festival.
Meanwhile, the National Junior Country Musicians Championship will take place on Saturday afternoon July 2 during the Jamboree with competitions for children under twelve in the categories Buck Dancing, Clogging, Dobro Guitar, Mandolin, Five String Banjo , Flat Top Guitar and Violin.
Preliminaries will be held in each event, then the top three finishers will be brought back to compete for first, second and third place.
One child will receive the Best Instrumental Artist trophy and the top fiddler will receive the James G. “Bobo” Driver Memorial Trophy.
WJLE will broadcast most stage entertainment live on AM 1480/ FM 101.7 and live streaming at www.wjle.com.
For more information about the festival, go to www.fiddlersjamboree.com