Old-Time Fiddlers Contest Is Sept. 27-28 On Main Street

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Get your fiddles out, tune 'em up and get ready for the 38th annual Vertilee Floyd Memorial Old-time Fiddlers Contest Sept. 27 and 28.

This year's contest will be held just off Main Street, behind the Oxbow Saloon, in a field next to the salvage yard.

The contest, originally known as the Arizona State Championship Old-time Fiddlers Contest, is considered Arizona's official fiddle contest.

The festival was founded by a group of citizens who owned a KOA Campground in 1970.

Most of the founders did not play the fiddle, but loved fiddle music and wanted a way to get fiddlers together and attract tourists to the campground, said Chairman Nelson Beck.

This year's new location on Main Street will attract visitors and business to the area, Beck said.

"It is going to be a great boost to the local economy on Main Street," he said.

"For shop owners and ourselves, it is a win-win."

Fiddlers of all ages from across Arizona, are welcome to get down and strut their skills at the contest.

Local winners will head to Weiser, Idaho to compete at nationals.

The youngest division is Small Fry for ages 3-9. Other divisions include, Junior-Junior for ages 10-12; Junior for ages 13-17; Young Adult for ages 18-39; Adult for ages 40-64; Senior for those 65 and older; plus Trick Fiddling, Fancy Fiddling, Twin Fiddling and Cross-tuned Fiddling, open to all ages.

The championship division includes the top 18 fiddlers from across the age divisions.

First place prize for Small Fry and Junior-Junior is $50, for Junior through Senior, $80 and $200 for the state championship division. The entry fee is $10.

Local bands will play between division contests and at lunch.

There is a gospel hour on Sunday, free to everyone.

The Payson Fiddlers Committee will host a barbecue dinner on Saturday night for all contestants, their families and volunteers.

More information on the event is available at www.paysonfiddlers.com.

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