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CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s champion old-time fiddle, bluegrass banjo and mandolin players, traditional pound cake and favorite family cookie bakers competed for top honors on Saturday, May 27, during the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s 41st annual Vandalia Gathering. On Sunday, May 28, old-time banjo, lap dulcimer, flatpick guitar musicians and liars vied for awards.

The winners were:
Youth Old-Time Fiddle (age 15 and under)          
1st place – Kaylee Polk, Red House
2nd place – Liam Farley, Chapmanville
3rd place – Jensine Atkins, Scott Depot
           
Old-Time Fiddle (age 59 and under)
1st place – Jenny Allinder, St. Albans
2nd place – Jerrica Hilbert, St. Albans
3rd place – Jesse Pearson, Huntington
4th place – Tessa Dillon, Morgantown
5th place – Chloe Sergent, Milton
  
Senior Old-Time Fiddle (age 60 and over)
1st place – Greg Bentle, Huntington
2nd place – Jim Mullins, St. Albans
3rd place – John Morris, Ivydale
4th place – Paul Epstein, Charleston
5th place – John Longwell, Gandeeville

Mandolin (all ages)
1st place – Matt Hiser, Spanishburg
2nd place – Dan Kessinger, St. Marys
3rd place – Chandler Beavers, White Sulphur Springs
4th place – Jake Eddy, Parkersburg
5th place – D.J. Kessinger, St. Marys
           
Bluegrass Banjo (all ages)
1st place – Jake Eddy, Parkersburg
2nd place – David Asti, Charles Town
3rd place – Seth Marstiller, Mill Creek
4th place – Al Barnett, Parkersburg
5th place – Bradley Thompson, Nitro

Lap Dulcimer (all ages)
1st place – Nick Freeman, St. Albans
2nd place – Ezra Drumheller, Prosperity
3rd place – Jesse Pearson, Huntington
4th place – Martha Turley, Ona
5th place – Leah Mabry, Beckley
           
Old-Time Banjo (59 and under)
1st place – Tim Bing, Huntington
2nd place – Trevor Hammons, Marlinton
3rd place – Nick Freeman, St. Albans
4th place – Hunter Walker, Beckley
5th place – Jarrod Saul, Sumerco

Senior Old-Time Banjo (age 60 and over)
1st place – Dave Bing, Gandeeville
2nd place – Paul Gartner, Yawkey
3rd place – Jim Mullins, St. Albans
4th place – John Morris, Ivydale
5th place – Dwight Diller – Marlinton

Youth Flatpick Guitar (age 15 and under)
1st place – Carter Eddy, Parkersburg
           
Flatpick Guitar (all ages)
1st place – Adam Hager, Ripley
2nd place – Robin Kessinger, St. Albans
3rd place – Jamie Rhodes, Culloden
4th place – Bryant Underwood, Charleston
5th place – Jarrod Saul, Sumerco

Liars (all ages)      
Biggest Liar (1st place and Goldenseal magazine’s Golden Shovel award) James Froemel, Maidsville
Bigger Liar (2nd place) Ian Nolte, Huntington
Big Liar (3rd place) –Pete Kosky, Charleston
Youth (age 15 and under, and Goldenseal magazine’s Golden Shovel award) Jack Froemel, Maidsville

Favorite Family Cookies (all ages)
1st place – Ella Hoffman, South Charleston
Youth (age 15 and under) Kendall Atkins, Scott Depot
           
Pound Cake (all ages)
1st place – Bridget Pauley, Pinch
2nd place – Ella Hoffman, South Charleston
3rd place – Karen Cobbs, Charleston

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 host 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, at (304) 558-0220 or [email protected].

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts with Gayle Manchin, 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 www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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