West Virginia’s champion old-time fiddle, bluegrass banjo and mandolin players competed on Saturday, May 28, and old-time banjo, lap dulcimer, flat pick guitar players and the best liars on Sunday, May 29, during the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s 35th annual Vandalia Gathering. There also was a competition for best homemade pound cake and apple pie on Saturday.
The winners were:
Youth Old-Time Fiddle (age 15 and under)
Old-Time Fiddle (age 59 and under)
Senior Old-Time Fiddle (age 60 and over)
Mandolin (all ages)
Bluegrass Banjo (all ages)
Pound Cake (all ages)
Apple Pie (all ages)
Youth Lap Dulcimer (age 15 and under)
Lap Dulcimer (all ages)
Senior Old-Time Banjo (age 60 and over)
Youth Flat Pick Guitar (age 15 and under)
Flat Pick Guitar (all ages)
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, creates new memories for the thousands of visitors who flock from across the Mountain State and the entire country to celebrate traditions passed from generation to generation. In addition to offering a sampling of West Virginia’s traditional mountain culture by showcasing craftspeople and performers, the Vandalia Gathering pays tribute to the state’s ethnic heritage through a variety of exhibitions and programs.
The Liars Contest regularly draws standing room-only crowds. Goldenseal, the magazine of West Virginia traditional life, hosts the event and publishes the winning stories each year. The lies must be short stories–humorous, dramatic, supernatural, etc.–of two to five minutes in length.
Vandalia Gathering is a program of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. For more information, call 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 www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.