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2002 winners in Vandalia Gathering contests: fiddle, bluegrass banjo, mandolin, lap dulcimer, old time banjo, flatpick guitar and liars

Champion fiddle, bluegrass banjo and mandolin players today competed for prizes during the 26th 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) - Elmer Rich, Westover
2nd place ($250) - Junior Spencer, Frankford
3rd place ($150) - Harold Burns, Yawkey
4th place ($75) - Woody Simmons, Mill Creek
5th place ($50) - Jerry Lewis, Nettie

Fiddle - under 60 years of age
1st place ($400) - Jake Krack, Orma
2nd place ($250) - Dan Kessinger, St. Marys
3rd place ($150) - Billy Ward, Elkins
4th place ($75) - Jenny Allinder, St. Albans
5th place ($50) - Gerry Milnes, Elkins

Mandolin - all ages
1st place ($400) - Mike Melton, Charleston
2nd place ($250) - Robert Shafer, Elkview
3rd place ($150) - Robin Kessinger, St. Albans
4th place ($75) - Dan Kessinger, St. Marys
5th place ($50) - John Putnam, Looneyville

Bluegrass Banjo - all ages
1st place ($400) - Bruce Jones, Big Springs
2nd place ($250) - Butch Osborne, Parkersburg
3rd place ($150) - Jim Gabehart, Hamlin
4th place ($75) - Brandon Green, Beckley
5th place ($50) - Dave Douglas, Ivydale

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

State’s best “liars” named at 26th Vandalia Gathering

West Virginia’s best storytellers competed today for prizes in the Liars Contest during the 26th annual Vandalia Gathering with the GOLDENSEAL magazine Golden Shovel award going to the best tall tale. Four-time champion Bil Lepp emceed the contest.

The winners were:

Biggest Liar (first place): Rich Knoblich, Wheeling
Bigger Liar (second place): Mark Howe, French Creek
Big Liar (third place): Nancy Feather, Aurora
Youth Award: Justin Wood, Charleston

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