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Old-time banjo, lap dulcimer and flat pick guitar winners named at Vandalia Gathering

Champion old-time banjo, lap dulcimer and flat pick guitar players competed for prizes today during the 26th annual Vandalia Gathering. Two categories of banjo pickers—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 the festival’s closing awards ceremony and concert this evening in the West Virginia State Theater of the Cultural Center.

The winners were:

Senior Old-Time Banjo
1st place ($400) - Bernard Cyrus, Fort Gay
2nd place ($250) - Ben Carr, Wilsie
3rd place ($150) - Charlie Loudermilk, Frankford
4th place ($75) - Eugene Parsons, Orma
5th place ($50) - Brooks Smith, Dunbar

Old-Time Banjo
1st place ($400) - Tim Bing, Huntington
2nd place ($250) - David O’Dell, West Logan
3rd place ($150) - Andrew Dunlap, St. Albans
4th place ($75) - Doug Van Gundy, Elkins
5th place ($50) - Paul Gartner, Sod

Lap Dulcimer
1st place ($400) - Alan Freeman, Renick
2nd place ($250) - David O’Dell, West Logan
3rd place ($150) - Dave Haas, Cross Lanes
4th place ($75) - John Stike, South Charleston
5th place ($50) - Timmy Gillenwater, Griffithsville

Flat Pick Guitar
1st place ($400) - Brandon Bentley, Sumerico
2nd place ($250) - Robin Kessinger, St. Albans
3rd place ($150) - Matt Lindsey, Dunbar
4th place ($75) - Darrell Meadows, Roanoke
5th place ($50) - Matt Poff, St. Albans

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 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 www.wvculture.org 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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