Fiddlers Fest: Ashe County Arts Council holds day of traditional music in Ashe County Park

Fun, sun and the traditional music of Appalachia were the name of the game on July 24, during the Ashe County Arts Council’s Fiddler’s Fest. The family friendly, all-day event was created by arts council to provide an outlet for local musicians following a year of hindered live performances due to COVID-19. “Our purpose of doing it, was to help local bands and musicians get back to live performances,” said Rebecca Williams executive directors of the Ashe County Arts Council.

“We wanted to support the local music community by having a event where they could play.” The Fiddle Fest — which was held in lieu of the annual Bluegrass and Old-time Fiddler’s Convention this year — was held at the Ashe County Park and saw performances from eight regional acts, such as the Cabin Creek Boys, Bryon Osborne and the Ashe Mountain Boys, Martha Spencer and Larry Sigmon and an outstanding opening performance by the Junior Appalachian Musicians Program’s (JAM) master band, the Ashe Mountain Ramblers.

“I’m very proud of them, they’ve come a long way. They have, in a lot of ways have started to surpass their teachers,” said Chris Testerman, a longtime instructor of the JAM Program. “It’s a good opportunity for the kids to be able to perform, see other musicians and maybe pick up a thing or two.”