Home News Local News 83rd World Champion Fiddlers’ Festival Deemed a Success

83rd World Champion Fiddlers’ Festival Deemed a Success

The 83rd Annual World Championship Fiddlers' Festival was held on Saturday, Sept. 28 and by everyone's account, the event was a success. Pictured above is Wes Westmoreland who finished third in the Open Division.

Results and Prize Winners

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – Last year, Mother Nature sent the contestants in the 82nd Annual World Championship Fiddlers’ Festival scrambling for a dry place to play.

This year, however, the 83rd Annual World Championship Fiddlers’ Festival had already booked the dry confines of the Porth AG Arena. Of course, the weather cooperated this year, but regardless of the weather, the fiddlers still put on quite a show.

The Fiddlers’ Festival was held on Saturday, Sept. 28 and the event attracted over 50 fiddlers and accompanists from as far away as California and Idaho. In addition, included amongst the musicians were several former World Champion fiddlers!

The participants ranged in age from over 60 all the way down to six years of age and were divided into four divisions. The divisions were: the Senior Division, for contestants 60 years of age and above; the Youth Division for fiddlers up to the age of 18; the World Championship Division; and the Accompanist Division.

The event was emceed by local entertainer and Camp Street Café owner Pipp Gillette, along with longtime Crockett resident and DETCOG Executive Director Lonnie Hunt.

Opening ceremonies began at 10 am and were followed by contestants in the Senior Division. The judges for this year’s contest were Ricky Turpin, Junior Marriott, and 1979 World Champion Dale Morris.

In the Senior Division, Brad Riley took home the first place trophy along with $300. Second place and a check for $250 went to Eddie Davis. Third place was awarded to Ed Henson along with a check for $200. Fourth place went to Tom Fonville along with $150 and John Blevins took home fifth place honors along with $100.

Once the senior competition concluded, MC Pipp Gillette entertained the crowd while the youth contestants prepared to take the stage.

The younger competitors began their performances during the late morning / early afternoon. The competitors and results showed:

1st Place/$300 – Tanner Marriott

2nd Place/$250 – Preston Marriott

3rd Place/$200 – Linda Masters

4th Place/$150 – Nathan Pedneault

5th Place/$100 – Beth Cheatham

6th Place/$75 – Makayla Byerly

7th Place/$50 – Porter Hendrix

8th Place/$25 – Evie Hendrix

Following the conclusion of the Youth Division, the audience was treated to a special performance by the Wright Family. The Lifetime Achievement award was also announced during the lunchtime break and was awarded to the Morris Family (Terry, Dale and Kenneth.)

In the Accompanist Division, there were five possible places. They were:

1st Place/$300 – Anthony Mature

2nd Place/$250 – Hyatt Hopkins

3rd Place/$200 – Drew Miller

4th Place/$150 – Al Mouledos

5th Place/$100 – Ronnie McKee

The World Championship Division (Open) saw 13 competitors take the stage. At the end of the competition, Carl Hopkins claimed his seventh title as he defeated returning champion 16-year-old Ridge Roberts.

The competitors and their places were as follows:

1st Place/$1,000 – Carl Hopkins, Porter, TX

2nd Place/$900 – Ridge Roberts, Age 16, Granbury, TX

3rd Place/$800 – Wes Westmoreland, Temple, TX

4th Place/$700 – River Lee

5th Place/$600 – Jason Andrew

6th Place/$500 – MacKenzie Johnston

7th Place/$400 – Marty Elmore

8th Place/$300 – Anna Lang

9th Place/$200 – Ashley Dryer

10th Place/$150 – Shira Ellisman

11th Place / $100 – Jason Crisp

12th Place / $100 – Katie Crawford

13th Place / $100 – Karissa Nugent

14th Place/$100 – Noelle Nugent

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.