Central North Carolina conventions boast of upgrades

The Allred Family at the 2023 Seagrove Fiddlers’ Convention – photo © G. Nicholas Hancock

Three long-running central North Carolina fiddlers’ convention will return this spring with a number of improvements.

This Saturday, on March 2, the 97th Annual Star Fiddlers’ Convention recommences. Sponsored by the Halcyon Woman’s Club, they are expanding their youth division (ages 15 and under) into seven individual categories (fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass, dobro, and vocal) with prizes for first, second, and third place. The local bluegrass talent contest will be held in its original location, Star Elementary School, located at 302 South Main Street in Star, NC. Doors open at 4:00 p.m. Registration is from 5:00-6:45 p.m. with a lottery drawing for performance order at 5:45. All acts registering after 5:45 will compete in the order of their registration. Competition begins an hour earlier than last year at 6:00 p.m. Over $1,500 will be awarded in cash prizes.

Two weeks later, on March 16, the 69th Annual Seagrove Fiddlers’ Convention returns to Seagrove Elementary School, 528 Old Plank Road in Seagrove, NC. Promoter, Maxton Byrd, and his committee have worked diligently to make this year’s event bigger and better. Thanks to corporate sponsor, Covanta, Blue Ridge Sound of Morganton will provide quality audio for the event. Blue Ridge specializes in bluegrass and acoustic music amplification providing sound for bluegrass festivals such as ones held at Denton FarmPark, Big Lick, and Camp Springs. Bluegrass Ridge TV hosts (Nu-Blu’s Daniel and Carolyn Routh) will be on-site to film interviews and portions of the event for an upcoming episode.

Prize money has increased to $2,150 in cash awards. The talent contest has been expanded to include a full set of youth awards that mirror the adult ones. Also, a new category has been added to competition: harmony singing. Registration is from 5:00-6:45 p.m., with youth competition beginning at 6:00 p.m. 

On April 6, the 2024 Highfalls Fiddlers’ Convention will be back. First band prize is $500. First place individual prizes, both youth and adult, are $50 each. The competition will be held at North Moore High School, 1504 N Moore Road in Robbins, NC. Miranda Smith is the promoter. Registration is from 4:30-6:00 p.m. Competition begins at 6:00 p.m. 

Admission to each convention is $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-12, free for children under age 6, cash only. All three contests offer concessions and the order of performances will be determined by a lottery drawing prior to competition.

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About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.