Band contest winners Last Hour at the 2023 Seagrove Convention – photo by G Nicholas Hancock
The 68th Annual Seagrove Fiddlers’ Convention returned Saturday night to Seagrove, NC, after a three-year hiatus due to COVID restrictions. New promoter, Maxton Byrd, and his committee, were amazed at the large turnout. There were over 500 in attendance with over 50 entries in the five-plus hour bluegrass talent contest.
“We did it! It was great!” Byrd exclaimed.
Maxton stepped up to the plate after the previous promoter, Linda Loggains, was unable to continue managing the event due to health-related issues. Byrd, with the assistance of a 20-plus member committee, labored to allow the annual music event to return, not knowing how it well it would go after the three-year break.
“We sold out of everything after intermission which is a good thing,” shared Mark Waisner, who helped the Southwestern Randolph High School Choral Program man the concession stand.
Winners came from as far away as New Caledonia (an island in the south Pacific) and West Virginia. Ages ranged from 8 to 92 years old.
Winners for the 2023 Seagrove Fiddlers’ Convention were:
- Last Hour
- Once in a Blue Moon
- Flatts Creek
- Kayleigh Stills
- John Hofmann
- Ervin Hatley
- Jack Ritter
- Noah Stills
- Danny Bowers
- Gary Pressley
- Dwayne Runyon
- Jonah Chaney
- Tommy Chandler
- Jake Goforth
- CH Lineberry
- Jimmy Damron
- Eddie Hammer
- John Fogleman
- Sandy Hatley
- Pammy Davis
- James Paquette
- Morgan Brown
- Brooklyn Nicole
- Bailey Wagner
- Eva Casstevens – dulcimer
- Danny Casstevens – dulcimer
- Jean Luc Leroux – vocal in French
- Jimmie Harrington (age 92)
- Taylor Lingren
- Brad Davis
Most Promising Talent (16 and under)
- Elliott King – guitar (age 11)
- Cameron Edenfield – banjo (age 13)
- Alexander Ferranti – fiddle (age 10)
16 and Under Vocal
- Chelsea Edenfield (age 11)
- JD Hussey (age 13)
The annual Alan Perdue Memorial Bluegrass Appreciation Award has been presented at Seagrove for the past three years. Recipients: 2021 – Mrs. JD Chrisco, 2022 – Linda Loggains, 2023 – Allred Family. The Allreds of Cedar Falls have been an integral part of the convention for over five decades. Brothers Vernon and Rick, along with Vernon’s son, Derrick, entertained during intermission. Accompanying them were IIIrd Tyme Out’s Nathan Aldridge on fiddle, Danny Bowers on banjo, and Travis Brady on bass. The award was presented in their honor and in memory of Vernon’s son, Matthew, who passed away in 2006 at the age of 35. The Perdue family presented the award to the Allreds.
“What an incredible night! Thanks to the Lord and every person who participated, from the people who made it happen to every person who attended! Loved it!” stated Janice Perdue, mother of the late Alan Perdue.
“It was a wonderful night of fellowship,” concluded emcee Big T Lassiter.
Plans are already underway for next year’s competition.
The next central North Caroline-based contest is the Highfalls Fiddlers’ Convention. It will be held in Robbins at North Moore School on April 1. Competition kicks off at 6:00 p.m. Registration runs from 4:30 until 6:00 p.m. Over $1,800 will be awarded to winners in band, fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, singer, dancing, bass, dobro, piano/miscellaneous, and most promising talent. The Second Annual Theron Caviness Best Banjo Award will be presented in his memory. Admission is $10.00 for adults, $5 for children, 6-12.