Fiddler contest to be held in Wheaton

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Wheaton Historical Society will host a fiddler contest in the Wheaton City Park at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 11. Proceeds from the event will support the Wheaton Depot renovation project.

"We invite the community to come out, enjoy the music and get enthusiastic about the Wheaton Depot Project," said Donna Youngblood, of the Wheaton Historical Society. "We welcome community members to tour the Depot, which is still under construction."

The fiddler contest will feature an open division for contestants over the age of 15 and a youth division for contestants who are 15 or younger.

Each contestant will be required to play three tunes, including a waltz, a hoe down and a player's choice. Contestants will be required to play a different tune during call back performances.

Contestants can have no more than two accompanists, and no electrical instruments will be allowed. Participants will not be allowed to play "Black Mountain Rag," "Orange Blossom Special" or "Mockingbird."

Prizes will be awarded to the top four contestants in the open division. Prizes include: $500, first place; $300, second place; $200, third place; and $100, fourth place.

Youth contestants will be eligible for a $100 first place prize, a $75 second place prize and a $25 third place prize.

Individuals can pre-register for the fiddler contest by calling 1-800-669-7005. Registrations will also be accepted at the park until 6 p.m. on Friday.

"The fiddler contest is part of the Wheaton community celebration," said Youngblood. "Community members are invited to come out and share some goodwill and enjoy togetherness."

Although some seating will be available in the park, Youngblood suggests attendees bring their lawn chairs to the free event.

Concessions will be available throughout the contest. Copies of "Wheaton Echoes," the city's centennial publication, will also be on sale during the event.

The fiddler contest is sponsored by D & D Oil, Wheaton Automotive Repair, L & S Family Market, Gizmo's Stop & Shop, U.S. Bank of Wheaton, Security Bank of Wheaton, At Home Mortgage Company, Senseney Tree Service, Cherry Bailey, Gene Hickman, White's Funeral Home and Fohn Funeral Home.

In the event of inclement weather, the fiddler contest will be moved to the Wheaton School Gymnasium.

The Wheaton Depot renovation project began in 2007. Volunteers have completed the outside of the Depot building and plan to begin interior renovations and landscaping later this summer.

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