Tebbetts picnic pays tribute to Burre with return of fiddler’s contest

— For the first time in 15 years, the Tebbetts Community Picnic is going to feature a musical showdown: the fiddle is making a comeback.

The Polly Burre Memorial Old Time Fiddler’s Contest will take place 5 p.m. June 28 in honor of the late Frederick Kenneth “Polly” Burre.

According to contest organizer Jim Buffington, Burre was well known in the area as an emcee for such contests, particularly in his native Tebbetts, where a fiddling competition has not been held since he passed away in 1999.

“Polly was a fiddler in his own right, but he was noted for being a promoter and emcee,” Buffington said.

A press release for the contest states, “His down-home style and dry humor attracted not only the best fiddlers around, but the spectators enjoyed his antics as well. Polly kept the Contests moving. He would step up to the microphone, announce a fiddler’s name, and say, ‘Tell’em what you’re gonna do, and get ’er done!’”

With several of Burre’s contemporaries still around, Buffington said he is anticipating a large turnout — of participants and audience members alike — for the contest.

“It’s something a lot of people have asked for over the years because they miss it,” Buffington said, noting he expects as many as 20 fiddlers to come out to play. “I expect to have fiddlers ages 6 to 86. I’m looking forward to a good turnout and a good crowd to listen and have a good, old-fashioned time.”

Registration for the Polly Burre Memorial Old Time Fiddler’s Contest is free and starts at 4 p.m.

There will be a youth division for ages 15 and younger, an open division for ages 16-59 and a senior division for those aged 60 and older.

A cash prize of $100 will be awarded for first place in each division, and there also will be trophies.

The return of the fiddling contest may be the main focus of this year’s Tebbetts Community Picnic — which runs from noon on Friday, June 27, until 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 29 — but many of the other traditional components also will return.

There will be an open air flea market, a display by the local historical society, bingo, live music, turtle races and barbecued mutton.

Features this year include:

•Live music Friday night by the Cunningham Sisters at 5:30 p.m. and the Aposle’s at 7 p.m.

•A Model A and Model T car show at noon Saturday.

•Turtle races at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

•Music at noon and comedy by Hambo on Sunday.

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