West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History

Vandalia Gathering contest winners announced


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)
1st place ($75) – Bella Zucker, Morgantown
2nd place ($50) – Riley Sisco, Scott Depot
3rd place ($25) – Walter King, Elkins

Old-Time Fiddle (age 59 and under)
1st place ($400) – Dan Kessinger, St. Marys
; 2nd place ($250) – Ray Cossin, Mt. Alto
3rd place ($150) – Jerrica Hilbert, St. Albans
4th place ($75) – Andy Fitzgibbons, Elkins
5th place ($50) – Bella Zucker, Morgantown

Senior Old-Time Fiddle (age 60 and over)
1st place ($400) – Elmer Rich, Morgantown
2nd place ($250) – Gerry Milnes, Elkins
3rd place ($150) – Jerry Lewis, Nettie
4th place ($75) – Lester McCumbers, Rosedale
5th place ($50) – Mack Samples, Duck

Mandolin (all ages)
p; 1st place ($400) – Matt Hiser, Spanishburg
; 2nd place ($250) – John Putnam, Looneyville
3rd place ($150) – Brandon Shuping, Williamson
4th place ($75) – Karl Smakula, Elkins
5th place ($50) – Bob Smakula, Elkins

Bluegrass Banjo (all ages)
1st place ($400) – Brandon Green, Sophia
2nd place ($250) – Calvin Leport, Henderson
3rd place ($150) – Doug Cossin, Mt. Alto
4th place ($75) – Blaine Johnson, Beaver
5th place ($50) – Karl Smakula, Elkins

Pound Cake (all ages)
1st place ($75) – Shonnette Koontz, Charleston
2nd place ($50) – Judy Grigoraci, Charleston
3rd place ($25) – Imagene Baker, Charleston
Youth Pound Cake (15 and under) – No award presented

Apple Pie (all ages)
1st place ($75) – Lynn Divjak, Charleston
2nd place ($50) – Ella Hoffman, South Charleston
3rd place ($25) – Cassandra Atkins, Charleston
Youth (age 15 and under, $25) – No award presented

Youth Lap Dulcimer (age 15 and under)
1st place ($75) – Will Manahan, Elkview
2nd place ($50) – No award presented
3rd place ($25) – No award presented

Lap Dulcimer (all ages)
1st place ($400) – Emily Pritchard, Beckley
2nd place ($250) – Will Manahan, Elkview
3rd place ($150) – David O’Dell, Glenville
4th place ($75) – Martha Turley, Ona
5th place ($50) – Timmy Gillenwater, Griffithsville

Old-Time Banjo (59 and under)
1st place ($400) – Andrew Dunlap, St. Albans
2nd place ($250) – David O’Dell, Glenville
3rd place ($150) – Kevin Chesser, Elkins
4th place ($75) – Chad Ashworth, St. Albans
5th place ($50) – Paul Gartner, Yawkey

Senior Old-Time Banjo (age 60 and over)
1st place ($400) – Jim Mullins, St. Albans
2nd place ($250) – Bob Shank, Bruceton Mills
3rd place ($150) – Ben Carr, Wilsie
4th place ($75) – Ken Sheller, Elkins
5th place ($50) – Eugene Parsons, Orma

Youth Flat Pick Guitar (age 15 and under)
1st place ($75) – Logan Jones, Davis Creek
2nd place ($50) – Isaac Putnam, Looneyville
3rd place ($25) – Bryant Underwood, Charleston

Flat Pick Guitar (all ages)
1st place ($400) – Swanagan Ray, Ripley
2nd place ($250) – Dan Kessinger, St. Marys
3rd place ($150) – Matt Lindsey, Dunbar
4th place ($75) – Brandon Bentley, Sumerco
5th place ($50) – Richard Adkins, Cross Lanes

Liars Contest
Biggest Liar (1st place $100 and Goldenseal magazine’s Golden Shovel award) – Adam Booth, Shepherdstown
Bigger Liar (2nd place $75) – Pete Kosky, Charleston
Big Liar (3rd place $50) – Bud Anderson, South Charleston
Youth (age 15 and under, $25) – Dice Johnson, Dunbar

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.



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