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Fiddle, bluegrass banjo, mandolin contest winners named this evening at 2003 Vandalia Gathering

Champion fiddle, bluegrass banjo and mandolin players today competed for prizes during the 27th annual Vandalia Gathering. Two categories of fiddlers—those 60 years of age and over and those under 60 years of age—were recognized. The other two contests included all ages.

Winners were announced as part of an awards ceremony and concert this evening in the West Virginia State Theater of the Cultural Center.

The winners were:
Fiddle - 60 years of age and over
1st place ($400) - Woody Simmons, Mill Creek
2nd place ($250) - Elmer Rich, Westover
3rd place ($150) - Junior Spencer, Frankford
4th place ($75) - Virgil Ross, Clendenin
5th place ($50) - Jerry Lewis, Nettie

Fiddle - under 60 years of age
1st place ($400) - Jenny Allinder, St. Albans
2nd place ($250) - Billy Ward, Elkins
3rd place ($150) - David O’Dell, West Logan
4th place ($75) - Jake Krack, Orma
5th place ($50) - Jesse Milnes, Elkins

Mandolin - all ages
1st place ($400) - Rachel Singleton, Summersville
2nd place ($250) - Dan Kessinger, St. Marys
3rd place ($150) - John Putnam, Looneyville
4th place ($75) - Will Parsons, Rock
5th place ($50) - Tim Gillenwater, Griffithsville

Bluegrass Banjo - all ages
1st place ($400) - Rad Lewis, Winfield
2nd place ($250) - Brandon Green, Beckley
3rd place ($150) - Butch Osborne, Parkersburg
4th place ($75) - Will Parsons, Rock
5th place ($50) - Ben Harrington, Fairdale

The annual Vandalia Gathering is a FREE celebration of the traditional arts, music, dance, stories, crafts and foods of West Virginia. The Cultural Center and State Capitol Complex grounds plays host to this expanding family-style gathering each year on Memorial Day weekend. The festival continues tomorrow at 10 a.m., with old-time banjo, lap dulcimer and flat-pick guitar contests beginning at noon.

The statewide folk festival, named for the proposed 14th colony, creates new memories for the thousands of visitors who flock from across the Mountain State and the entire country to celebrate traditions passed from generation to generation. In addition to offering a sampling of West Virginia’s traditional mountain culture by showcasing craftspeople and performers, the Vandalia Gathering pays tribute to the state’s ethnic heritage through a variety of exhibitions and programs.

For more information, call Ginny Painter at (304) 558-0220, ext. 120.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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Ginny Painter
Director of Public Information
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305-0300
Phone (304) 558-0220
Fax (304) 558-2779