CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s champion old-time fiddle, bluegrass banjo, mandolin players competed for top honors on Saturday, May 28, during the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History’s 45th annual Vandalia Gathering. On Sunday, May 29, 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 – Annabel Dacks, Morgantown

Old-Time Fiddle (age 59 and under)
1st place – Tessa Dillon, St. Albans
2nd place – Dan Kessinger, St. Marys
3rd place – Dan Carney, Nitro
4th place – Brian Conaway, Fairmont
5th place – D.J. Kessinger, Charles Town

Senior Old-Time Fiddle (age 60 and over)
1st place – Jenny Allinder, Point Pleasant
2nd place – Gerry Milnes, Elkins
3rd place – Paul Epstein, Charleston
4th place – Susan Staton, Barboursville
5th place – John Longwell, Gandeeville

Mandolin (all ages)
1st place – Sawyer Chapman, Charleston
2nd place – Tristan Dennis, Morgantown
3rd place – Isaac Butcher, Ripley
4th place – Robin Kessinger, St. Albans
5th place – D.J. Kessinger, Charles Town

Bluegrass Banjo (all ages)
1st place – Jake Stover, Red House
2nd place – Emmett Carper, West Union
3rd place – Dan Wilson, East Lynn
4th place – Jeff Richmond, Belle
5th place – Bradley Thompson, Nitro

Lap Dulcimer (all ages)
1st place – Hunter Walker, Beckley
2nd place – Tish Westerman, Beckley
3rd place – Martha Turley, Ona
4th place – Helena Lee, Cross Lanes
5th Place – Janie Miles, Pliny

Old-Time Banjo (59 and under)
1st place – Hunter Walker, Beckley
2nd place – Chance McCoy, Greenville
3rd place – Jarrod Saul, Sumerco
4th place – Pete Kosky, Charleston
5th place – Jake Stover, Red House

Senior Old-Time Banjo (age 60 and over)
1st place – Bob Smakula, Montrose
2nd place – Gerry Milnes, Elkins
3rd place – John Morris, Ivydale
4th place – Jim Mullins, St. Albans
5th place – Dennis Bills, Huntington

Youth Flatpick Guitar (age 15 and under)
1st place – Lucas Nichols, Charleston
2nd Place – Isaac Butcher, Ripley
3rd Place – Nathan Schramm, New Martinsville

Flatpick Guitar (all ages)
1st place – Dan Kessinger, St. Marys
2nd place – Jakob Thomas, Clendenin
3rd place – Jarrod Saul, Sumerco
4th place – Matt Lindsey, Culloden
5th place – Hazel Riley, Hillsboro

Liars (all ages)
Biggest Liar(1st place and Goldenseal magazine’s Golden Shovel award)– Kally Hall, Hurricane
Bigger Liar(2nd place)David Long,Keyser
Big Liar (3rd place)– Jeff Johnson, Scott Depot
Youth (age 15 and under, and Goldenseal magazine’s Golden Shovel award) – Zane Wilkinson, Ovapa

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 Department of Arts, Culture and History. For more information, contact Andrea Nelson, public information specialist for the department, at (304) 558-0220 or [email protected].

MEDIA NOTE: Photograph below:

2022 Vandalia Gathering Old-Time Banjo Contest Winners from left to right: Pete Kosky, Charleston, 4th Place; Jarrod Saul, Sumerco, 3rd Place; Hunter Walker, Beckley, 1st Place; Chance McCoy, Greenville, 2nd Place; and Jake Stover, Red House, 5th Place.