Results and Prize Winners
By Will Johnson
CROCKETT – Last year, Mother Nature sent the contestants in the 82nd Annual World Championship Fiddlers’ Festival scrambling for a dry place to play.
This year, however, the 83rd Annual World Championship Fiddlers’ Festival had already booked the dry confines of the Porth AG Arena. Of course, the weather cooperated this year, but regardless of the weather, the fiddlers still put on quite a show.
The Fiddlers’ Festival was held on Saturday, Sept. 28 and the event attracted over 50 fiddlers and accompanists from as far away as California and Idaho. In addition, included amongst the musicians were several former World Champion fiddlers!
The participants ranged in age from over 60 all the way down to six years of age and were divided into four divisions. The divisions were: the Senior Division, for contestants 60 years of age and above; the Youth Division for fiddlers up to the age of 18; the World Championship Division; and the Accompanist Division.
The event was emceed by local entertainer and Camp Street Café owner Pipp Gillette, along with longtime Crockett resident and DETCOG Executive Director Lonnie Hunt.
Opening ceremonies began at 10 am and were followed by contestants in the Senior Division. The judges for this year’s contest were Ricky Turpin, Junior Marriott, and 1979 World Champion Dale Morris.
In the Senior Division, Brad Riley took home the first place trophy along with $300. Second place and a check for $250 went to Eddie Davis. Third place was awarded to Ed Henson along with a check for $200. Fourth place went to Tom Fonville along with $150 and John Blevins took home fifth place honors along with $100.
Once the senior competition concluded, MC Pipp Gillette entertained the crowd while the youth contestants prepared to take the stage.
The younger competitors began their performances during the late morning / early afternoon. The competitors and results showed:
1st Place/$300 – Tanner Marriott
2nd Place/$250 – Preston Marriott
3rd Place/$200 – Linda Masters
4th Place/$150 – Nathan Pedneault
5th Place/$100 – Beth Cheatham
6th Place/$75 – Makayla Byerly
7th Place/$50 – Porter Hendrix
8th Place/$25 – Evie Hendrix
Following the conclusion of the Youth Division, the audience was treated to a special performance by the Wright Family. The Lifetime Achievement award was also announced during the lunchtime break and was awarded to the Morris Family (Terry, Dale and Kenneth.)
In the Accompanist Division, there were five possible places. They were:
1st Place/$300 – Anthony Mature
2nd Place/$250 – Hyatt Hopkins
3rd Place/$200 – Drew Miller
4th Place/$150 – Al Mouledos
5th Place/$100 – Ronnie McKee
The World Championship Division (Open) saw 13 competitors take the stage. At the end of the competition, Carl Hopkins claimed his seventh title as he defeated returning champion 16-year-old Ridge Roberts.
The competitors and their places were as follows:
1st Place/$1,000 – Carl Hopkins, Porter, TX
2nd Place/$900 – Ridge Roberts, Age 16, Granbury, TX
3rd Place/$800 – Wes Westmoreland, Temple, TX
4th Place/$700 – River Lee
5th Place/$600 – Jason Andrew
6th Place/$500 – MacKenzie Johnston
7th Place/$400 – Marty Elmore
8th Place/$300 – Anna Lang
9th Place/$200 – Ashley Dryer
10th Place/$150 – Shira Ellisman
11th Place / $100 – Jason Crisp
12th Place / $100 – Katie Crawford
13th Place / $100 – Karissa Nugent
14th Place/$100 – Noelle Nugent
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.