Fiddle music is the sound of fall in the Rim country. For the past 32 years, traditional fiddle music has been celebrated at Payson's Old Time Fiddlers' Contest, where the Arizona State Champion is selected.
The 33rd Annual Old Time Fiddlers' Contest is this weekend, Sept. 27 and 28 at the Payson Event Center.
Coordinator Roy Sandoval said, "About 80 contestants are expected. There will be all ages, from 3 to 85 years old."
The contest is sponsored by the Payson Parks and Recreation Department, but Sandoval adds, "The Arizona Old Time Fiddlers' Association plays a key role in this."
He said the group has been responsible for the resurgence of interest in authentic fiddle music among young people.
He said the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce has also been especially helpful with presenting the program.
While all the performers are entertaining, there is also a specialty act lined up, one of the most coveted in bluegrass festival circles around the Southwest, the McNasty Brothers.
The McNasty Brothers will perform on Saturday only. Another highlight on Saturday will be all the informal jam sessions, Sandoval said.
There will be plenty of food booths, craft booths, plus a fiddlemaker will be exhibiting. General admission is $5 and for those 6 to 16, admission is $2. Gates open at 9 a.m. both days.