Fiddling contest set to draw crowd to Mokane Fair

(From left) Competitors in the open division of the Jake Hockemeyer Memorial Old Time Fiddler’s Contest were Richard Shewmaker of Columbia, Joanna Coleman of Schell City, Kathy Summers of Bourbon, Zach Benson of Schell City, Sadie Curry of Columbia, Andrew Coleman of Schell City, Ashley Monasmith of Pacific and Lynn Wells (with his grandson) of Boonsboro. This year’s contest will start at 3 p.m. on Sept. 4. There are $800 in cash prizes up for grabs, with a $20 show-up fee for all fiddlers who do not place in money.

(From left) Competitors in the open division of the Jake Hockemeyer Memorial Old Time Fiddler’s Contest were Richard Shewmaker of Columbia, Joanna Coleman of Schell City, Kathy Summers of Bourbon, Zach Benson of Schell City, Sadie Curry of Columbia, Andrew Coleman of Schell City, Ashley Monasmith of Pacific and Lynn Wells (with his grandson) of Boonsboro. This year’s contest will start at 3 p.m. on Sept. 4. There are $800 in cash prizes up for grabs, with a $20 show-up fee for all fiddlers who do not place in money. (Contributed photo)

Fiddling has been a source of entertainment in Callaway County for generations, and if participation in last year’s Jake Hockemeyer Memorial Old Time Fiddler’s Contest is any indication, it will continue to be for at least one more to come.

The contest drew 26 fiddlers from all over Missouri in 2010, and event organizers are expecting one of the main features of the 62nd Annual Mokane Fair to be just as popular this year.

“I guess part of it’s appeal is the tradition, and the fiddle music is so enjoyable to listen to,” said event emcee and lifelong musician Jim Buffington. “That kind of music is just ingrained in our lives down here and throughout mid-Missouri.

“I guess it’s popular just because of its entertainment value — it draws a nice crowd every year.”

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