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Thousands headed to Galax for 83rd annual fiddlers’ convention

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Gates open for campers Sunday, convention runs Aug. 6-11

By Brian Funk, Editor

An estimated 40,000 musicians and fans will descend on Galax starting this weekend.

Felts Park will open its gates at 7 a.m. Sunday for the 83rd Annual Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention.

The competition opens Monday and lasts through Aug. 11, but most of the convention’s expected 1,300 campers showed up Sunday to set up.

Members of Galax Moose Lodge #733, sponsor of the convention, spend weeks getting the park ready and by Sunday afternoon, it will be filled with tents, campers, RVs, tour buses, school buses, tepees and assorted improvised shelters.

The youth competition begins Aug. 6 at 5:30 p.m. Youth bands will perform and individual contestants age 15 and younger will show off their skills on fiddle, banjo, mandolin and guitar.

Competitions the rest of the week include:

• Aug. 7, 6 p.m.: Old-Time Fiddle, Dobro, Mandolin

• Aug. 8, 6 p.m.: Bluegrass Fiddle, Dulcimer, Bluegrass Banjo

• Aug. 9, 6 p.m.: Clawhammer Banjo, Autoharp, Guitar

• Aug. 10, 6 p.m.: Old-Time and Bluegrass Bands

• Aug. 11, noon: Folk Song and Flatfoot Dance

• Aug. 11, 6 p.m.: Bluegrass and Old-Time Bands

• Aug. 12, Early AM Hours: Winners Announced

Admission to the fiddlers’ convention is $6 on Monday through Thursday nights, $10 Friday night and $12 on Saturday. Season and contestant tickets are $40.

Children age 12 and younger are admitted free with a paid escort.

Camping fee is $80 per space.

• For more information, visit oldfiddlersconvention.com.