Convention registration rises again this year

-A A +A
By Brian Funk, Editor

Registration for the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention has increased for the third year in a row, rising from 1,905 last year to 2,004.
Until 2008, the convention had been experiencing a five-year slump.

The upward trend is encouraging to the Galax Moose Lodge #733, organizers of the 75-year-old event.
A total of 99 more contestants signed up this year, compared to an increase of 88 contestants in 2009.
Officials with the Moose Lodge say the registration numbers never reflect actual attendance. Because musicians must be pre-registered to perform, they often send in a registration form before making actual plans to attend.
Increases the past two years were something of a surprise given the cost of gas. This year's diamond anniversary could be drawing more contestants.
The convention’s increasingly popular youth night on Monday continues to draw more and more competitors each year, but contestants register the day of the event and are not included in the 2,004 total.
Registration increased from 2009 in nine of the 13 categories.
Guitar is the biggest category, with 334 contestants registered. Dulcimer is the smallest category, with 62 signed up.
The biggest decline this year was in the mandolin category. Other declining categories include dobro, folk song and old-time fiddle.
The convention runs through Saturday in Galax’s Felts Park. Winners will be announced early Sunday morning.
Performer registration also has little to do with how many fans come to Galax for the event.  Attendance over the week is estimated at 35,000 to 40,000.