In between division competitions and before award presentations, bluegrass group, “Firebox”, of Effingham set the stage on fire with their performance of toe-tapping bluegrass music throughout the contest. Lisa Perry was the raffle winner of a fiddle that was given away compliments of three of the contest’s sponsors, Bluegrass Shack from Athens, TEF Custom Guitars of Stewardson, and Rex Foreman of Strasburg. Other local sponsors for the Illinois State Old-Time Fiddle Contest this year were the Effingham Tourism Board, Neoga IGA, Chesnut Family Music of Effingham, among other sponsors, as well as individual supporters, who donated money towards the contest’s expenses.
If other sponsors and individual donators would be interested in participating during next year’s fiddle contest, they would be welcomed by the Illinois Old-Time Fiddlers Association, who will be celebrating a milestone next year of hosting the 50th year of the Illinois State Old-Time Fiddle Contest. Any business or individual, interested in being a sponsor or donor and wants more information about the state fiddle contest, can attend any of the free music shows, which are held each month on the third Sunday at Forest Park in Shelbyville in the Lion’s Club Building from 2 to 5 p.m., except for the month of October, which is the month of the Illinois State Old-Time Fiddle Contest.
The winner of this year’s Illinois State Old-Time Fiddle Contest has the choice of attending the National Old-Time Fiddlers’ Contest & Festival that will be held in Weiser, Idaho to compete for the national fiddler title. Although all contestants did not lay claim to being this year’s fiddle champion in their category at the Illinois State Old-Time Fiddle Contest, they are all still champions for being the heroes who keep old time fiddle music alive!