Fiddlers draw followers to fair

Howard Marshall competes in the fiddling contest at the Kingdom of Callaway County Fair Saturday night, accompanied by Gene Stephens. Marshall, who won the senior division, said he was pleased to see so many young people carrying on the fiddling tradition.

Howard Marshall competes in the fiddling contest at the Kingdom of Callaway County Fair Saturday night, accompanied by Gene Stephens. Marshall, who won the senior division, said he was pleased to see so many young people carrying on the fiddling tradition. Photo by Katherine Cummins.

True to event coordinator Brenda McCray’s prediction, the return of the fiddling contest drew a small crowd to the Kingdom of Callaway County Fair Saturday night.

There were not as many participants as hoped for — six in the youth division, three in the senior division and two in the open division — but a number of the people gathered around the stage in the bleachers, at nearby picnic tables and some even in their own chairs, were there specifically to listen to the fiddle music.

“I was raised up with it — my dad fiddled,” Jack Maddox of New Bloomfield said as he listened to a series of jigs, reels and waltzes. “I think it’s great (they brought it back). You see a lot of young talent now that you didn’t see here a few years ago, so that’s a good thing.”

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