CLIFFTOP, W.Va. – Twenty musicians, 12 bands and 12 dancers took home $7,450 in contest prize money during the 24th annual Appalachian String Band Music Festival at Camp Washington-Carver in Clifftop, Fayette County, from July 31 – Aug. 4. Ten of the winners were from West Virginia.

More than 4,000 musicians, dancers, fans and friends attended the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s five-day event that features some of the nation’s finest string band musicians and flat-foot dancers. Participants and visitors included folks from 46 states and the District of Columbia as well as international visitors from Africa, Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands, among others.

Contests were held in four traditional contests – fiddle, banjo, string band and flat-foot dance – plus one neo-traditional string band contest. Ribbons for best original song and best original tune were awarded in the neo-traditional band category.

The contest winners were:

      1st place ($400) – Tim Bing, Huntington, W.Va.
      2nd place ($200) – Andrew Fitzgibbon, Montrose, W.Va.
      3rd place ($150) – Seth Swingle, Earlysville, Va.
      4th place ($100) – John Morris, Ivydale, W.Va.
      5th place ($50) – Mary Sue Joy, Hollywood, Md.

Youth Banjo – 15 years of age and under
      1st place ($100) – Victor Furtado, Front Royal, Va.
      2nd place ($50) – Trevor Hammons, Marlinton, W.Va.
      3rd place ($25) – Rebecca Molaro, Asheville, N.C.

Senior Banjo – 60 years of age and over
      1st place ($200) – John Morris, Ivydale, W.Va.
      2nd place ($100) – Robert “Pete” Peterson Jr., Oxford, Pa.
      3rd place ($50) – William Schmidt, Baltimore, Md.

      1st place ($400) – Clelia Stefanini, Elkins Park, Pa.
      2nd place ($200) –  Jake Krack, Marlinton, W.Va.
      3rd place ($150) – Stephanie Coleman, Brooklyn, N.Y.
      4th place ($100) – Leo Shannon, Seattle, Wash.
      5th place ($50) – Rhys Jones, Warrenton, Va.

Youth Fiddle – 15 years of age and under
      1st place ($100) – Leo Shannon, Seattle, Wash.
      2nd place ($50) -Noel “Kitty” Amaral, Elk Creek, Va.
      3rd place ($25) – William Brauneil, Washington, D.C.

Senior Fiddle – 60 years of age and over
      1st place ($200) – Pete Vigour, Crozet, Va.
      2nd place ($100) – Burguiere Polo, Ardeche, France
      3rd place ($50) – Elmer Rich, Morgantown, W.Va.

Neo-Traditional Band
      1st place ($700) – No. 47, Elkins, W.Va.
      2nd place ($400) – Jubal’s Kin, Longwood, Fla.
      3rd place ($300) – Poor Taters, Athens, W.Va.
      4th place ($200) – Second Hand Suits, Lancaster, Pa.
      5th place ($100) – Davy Jones Evidence Locker, Montrose, W.Va.

Youth Neo-Traditional Band
      ($300) – The Mario Brothers Three, Fisherville, Va.

Best Original Song (ribbon and certificate awards)
      Second Hand Suits, Lancaster, Pa.

Best Original Tune (ribbon and certificate awards)
      No. 47, Elkins, W.Va.

Traditional Band
      1st place ($700) – We See It, We Take It, Montrose, W.Va.
      2nd place ($400) – Old Buck, Greenfield, Mass.
      3rd place ($300) – Bigfoot, Marshall, N.C.
      4th place ($200) – All Day Breakfast String Band, Traphill, N.C.
      5th place ($100) – Wild Coyotes, Pocatello, Idaho

Youth Traditional Band
      ($300) – Elm Street Alley Cats, Elkins, W.Va.

Old-Time Flat-foot Dance – 15 years of age and under
      1st place ($75) – Rebecca Molaro, Asheville, N.C.
      2nd place ($50) – Victor Furtado, Front Royal, Va.
      3rd place ($25) –  Jeffrey Amundsen, Longwood, Fla.

Old-Time Flat-foot Dance – 16 years of age through 40
      1st place ($75) – Josephine Stewart, Charlottesville, Va.
      2nd place ($50) – Alice Cade, Ketton, England
      3rd place ($25) – Emolyn Liden, Asheville, N.C.

Old-Time Flat-foot Dance – 41 years of age through 59
      1st place ($75) – Jay Bland, Kennesaw, Ga.
      2nd place ($50) – Jan Scopel, Annapolis, Md.
      3rd place ($25) – Jane Henderson, Bloomington, Ind.

Old-Time Flat-foot Dance – 60 years of age and older
      1st place ($75) – Kim Forry, Annapolis, Md.
      2nd place ($50) – Marilyn Branch, Kalamazoo, Mich.
      3rd place ($25) – Kriss Sands, Mars Hill, N.C.

Next year’s festival will be held July 30 – Aug. 3.

For more information about the 24th Annual Appalachian String Band Music Festival, contact Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner for the Division, at (304) 558-0220.

A beautiful retreat listed in the National Register of Historic Places and operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Camp Washington-Carver serves as the state’s mountain cultural arts center. The facility nurtures the cultural heritage embodied in the site since its dedication in 1942 as a 4-H and agricultural extension camp for West Virginia’s African Americans. The camp is located in Fayette County next to Babcock State Park, just off Rt. 60 (Midland Trail) on Rt. 41.

      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.