Ole Time Fiddlin’ Convention Sept. 21 at Hagood Mill Historic Site & Folklife Center

Last updated: September 19. 2013 3:53PM - 4545 Views

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The Pickens County Cultural Commission invites one and all to the Second Annual South Carolina State Fiddling Championship on Sept. 21 at Pickens County’s 17th Annual Ole Time Fiddlin’ Convention at Hagood Mill.

For hundreds of years the South has enjoyed a rich traditional musical heritage and the upcountry counties of South Carolina have been no less than a hot bed of these traditions. The Scots Irish and other immigrants that established homesteads brought with them their fiddles and a heritage of music. These are the folks that populated the southern-most tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

One of the last of the official old time fiddling competitions in the upstate was held in 1924 at Tillman Hall on the campus of Clemson College (University) as mountain men and women gathered to compete with their treasured fiddles and other instruments. For the last sixteen years, Pickens County has celebrated this music with their annual Ole Time Fiddlin’ Convention, a throwback to a very upcountry tradition of the last hundred years.

Musicians and guests are invited to arrive as early as Friday afternoon and set up overnight camping spots at out primitive camping area. The Saturday Competition will begin at 10:30 a.m. Awards and cash prizes, sponsored by the Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative and Blue Ridge Security, will be given to the top three performers in each of the following categories: String Band, Banjo, Guitar, “Wildcat” Open (anything musical), Junior Fiddle, Junior Open (both Jr. divisions = 16 and under) and Fiddle. The Winner of the Fiddle Competition will be designated the 2013 South Carolina State Fiddling Champion. Competition entry is free. For Stringband and Fiddle we do request pre-registration, but contestants in all other categories should register for competitions by one hour before contest time. Early registration and a complete set of competition rules are available by calling the Pickens County Museum at (864) 898-5963 or by email at picmus@co.pickens.sc.us.

A very special set for the day will be when our 2012 South Carolina State Fiddling Champion, Robert Burns performs. His will certainly be an exceptional show as he prepares to pass the crown on to our 2013 Champion.

Entry for this full day of music, tradition and a mighty good time is only $5 parking fee per car. Join us as the festive season kicks off! The Pickens County Cultural Commission, as always, invites you to a special day of milling, music and memories. Plan on coming out for the whole show! Bring a lawn chair and enjoy a day of rip-roaring, foot-stomping music by some of the region’s best old time musicians! One and all are also invited to bring their instruments and add to the entertainment with the open jams on site throughout the day.

The water-powered 1845 gristmill, one of the finest examples of nineteenth century technology in the Upstate, operates just as it has for the last century-and-a-half and will be running throughout the day. In the old mill, fresh stone-ground corn meal, grits and wheat flour will be available, as well as Hagood Mill cookbooks and a variety of other mill related items.

The Hagood Mill hosts a variety of folklife and traditional arts demonstrations each month, including blacksmithing, bowl-digging, flintknapping, chair-caning, moonshining, broom-making, quilting, spinning, knitting, weaving, woodcarving, open-hearth cooking, metal-smithing, pioneer toys and games and more!

Visitors can also enjoy southern cooking prepared by food vendors from GateHouse Restaurant

The Hagood Mill operates, rain or shine, the third Saturday of every month and is located just 3 miles north of Pickens or 5 ½ miles south of Cherokee Foothills Scenic Hwy 11 off SC Hwy 178 at 138 Hagood Mill Road. Hagood Mill is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 until 4:00, to tour the buildings and grounds and to visit the Mill Site Gift Shop.

The Seventeenth Annual Ole Time Fiddlin’ Convention and SC State Fiddling Championship is sponsored by the Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative, Blue Ridge Security and a private benefactor. The Pickens County Museum of Art & History is funded in part by Pickens County, members and friends of the museum and a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. We would also like to thank GateHouse Restaurant for their generous gift of feeding our mill site volunteers.

For additional information or to request competition rules, please contact the Pickens County Museum at (864) 898-5963 or the Hagood Mill at (864) 898-2936 or by email at picmus@co.pickens.sc.us .

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