Fiddlers contest was success in its second year

Thursday, July 17, 2008
Chris Stewart was one of the competitors who entered the second annual Wheaton Fiddlers Contest, which was held at the Wheaton City Park on July 11. A total of 11 fiddlers competed for cash prizes during the contest, which was sponsored by the Wheaton Historical Society. Money raised through the fiddlers contest will benefit the Wheaton Depot restoration project. Democrat Photo

The second annual Wheaton Fiddlers Contest attracted talented musicians from Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri to the Wheaton City Park on Friday night.

Sponsored by the Wheaton Historical Society, the event enjoyed clear skies, pleasant temperatures and some impressive fiddle playing.

First prize honors in the adult open division went to Monty Gaylord. The second place winner was Levi Roden followed by third place winner Junior Marriott and fourth place winner Aleta Stoneking.

In the youth division, the top prize was awarded to Douglas Thompson with second place honors going to Michael Thompson and third place honors earned by Ethan Price.

Other fiddlers who competed in the contest included Brad Hawkins, Sadie Gaylord, Chris Stewart and Drew Holt.

Prizes in the adult open division were $500 for first place, $300 for second, $200 for third and $100 for fourth. Youth division prizes were $100 for first, $75 for second and $25 for third.

"We feel that this fundraiser will grow each year as we learn more and the fiddlers realize that this is an annual event," said Donna Youngblood, a member of the Fiddlers Contest Committee. "We had many positive comments."

The Wheaton Historical Society intends to continue holding the contest on the Friday night preceding the annual Wheaton barbecue.

"Bob Lombard and his firemen (who sponsor the barbecue) have been very supportive of the Wheaton Historical Society and the Fiddlers Contest," added Youngblood.

Judges for the contest included Bob Fjeldsted and Jake Duncan, both from Oklahoma, and Wayne Norris, of Monett. Kathleen Sue Shuey assisted the judges by tallying scores.

Steve Higgs served as master of ceremonies, and Doug Holmes was the sound man.

"These fiddlers are here because they love the music and they love to entertain you," said Higgs during one of the breaks between contestants.

The 2008 Wheaton Fiddlers Contest was sponsored by D & D Oil and Propane, Wheaton Auto-motive Repair, L & S Foods of Wheaton, Gizmo's Stop and Shop, U.S. Bank of Wheaton, Security Bank of Wheaton, At Home Mortgage Co., Senseney Tree Service, Cherry Bailey for Assessor, Hickman for Sheriff, White Funeral Home and Fohn Funeral Home.

Members of the Fiddlers Contest Committee were Youngblood, Marianne Witt, Charlie Brattin and David Shockley and members of the Food Committee were Becky Roskob and Jill Paden.

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