CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s champion old-time fiddle, bluegrass banjo and  mandolin players, and cupcake and pound cake bakers competed for top honors on Saturday, May 24  during the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s 38th annual Vandalia Gathering. On Sunday, May 25, old-time banjo, lap dulcimer and flatpick guitar musicians, and liars vied for awards.

The winners were:

Youth Old-Time Fiddle (age 15 and under)          
1st place – Jarred Carter, St. Albans
2nd place – Chloe Sergent, Milton
3rd place – Bella Zucker, Morgantown

Old-Time Fiddle (age 59 and under)
1st place – Andy Fitzgibbons, Montrose
2nd place – Jesse Milnes, Valley Bend
3rd place – Jesse Pearson, Huntington
4th place – Jenny Allinder, St. Albans
5th place – Tessa Dillon, St. Albans

Senior Old-Time Fiddle (age 60 and over)
1st place – Gerry Milnes, Elkins
2nd place – Darrell Murray, Charleston
3rd place – John Morris, Ivydale
4th place – Jim Mullins, St. Albans
5th place – Elmer Rich, Morgantown

Mandolin (all ages)
1st place – Karl Smakula, Elkins
2nd place – Dan Kessinger, St. Marys
3rd place – Seth Marstiller, Elkins
4th place – Bob Smakula, Elkins
5th place – DJ Kessinger, St. Marys
Bluegrass Banjo (all ages)
1st place – Andrew Kidd, Hurricane
2nd place – Jake Eddy, Parkersburg
3rd place – Rita Hunt, Premier
4th place – Karl Smakula, Elkins
5th place – Logan Hoy, Belle

Lap Dulcimer (all ages)
1st place – Hunter Walker, Beckley
2nd place – David O’Dell, Glenville
3rd place – Martha Turley, Ona
4th place – Janie Miles, Pliny
5th place – Timmy Gillenwater, Griffithsville
Old-Time Banjo (59 and under)
1st place – David O’Dell, Glenville
2nd place – Ben Townsend, Romney
3rd place – Dave Bing, Harmony
4th place – Trevor Hammons, Marlinton
5th place – Logan Hoy, Belle

Senior Old-Time Banjo (age 60 and over)
1st place – Bob Shank, Bruceton Mills
2nd place – Paul Gartner, Yawkey
3rd place – Jay Lockman, Green Bank
4th place – Jim Mullins, St. Albans
5th place – Ken Sheller, Elkins

Youth Flatpick Guitar (age 15 and under)
1st place – Isaac Putnam, Looneyville
2nd place – Austin Lewis, Hurricane
3rd place – Claire Walker, Charleston
Flatpick Guitar (all ages)
1st place – Adam Hager, Kenna
2nd place – Dan Kessinger, St. Marys
3rd place – Jamie Rhodes, Culloden
4th place – Matt Lindsey, Culloden
5th place – Bryant Underwood, Charleston

Liars (all ages)       
Biggest Liar (1st place and Goldenseal magazine’s Golden Shovel award) – Fred Pollack, Charleston
Bigger Liar (2nd place) – Ariana Kincaid, Charleston
Big Liar (3rd place) – Gary Buchanan, Creston
Youth (age 15 and under, and Goldenseal magazine’s Golden Shovel award) – Noah Lepp, Charleston

Cupcakes (all ages)
1st place – Judy Grigoraci, Charleston
2nd place – Ella Hoffman, Charleston
3rd place – Jan and Tori McCullough, Bridgeport
Youth (age 15 and under) – Kendall Atkins, Scott Depot

Pound Cake (all ages)
1st place – Judy Grigoraci, Charleston
 2nd place – Lynna Middleton, Charleston
3rd place – Beverly Samples, South Charleston
Youth (age 15 and under) – NA

The annual Vandalia Gathering is a free celebration of the traditional arts, music, dance, stories, crafts and foods of West Virginia. The Culture Center and State Capitol Complex grounds play host to this expanding family-style gathering each year on Memorial Day weekend. The unique blending of ethnic and cultural heritage combines an atmosphere as comfortable as a family reunion with the excitement of a state fair. The statewide folk festival, named for the proposed 14th colony, pays tribute to the state’s ethnic heritage through a variety of exhibitions and programs.

Vandalia Gathering is a program of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. For more information, contact Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner and communications manager for the Division, at (304) 558-0220.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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