The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

41st Fiddlin' Down the Tracks Sept. 15


September 2, 2017

District 3 of the California State Old Time Fiddlers Association will present its 41st annual Fiddlin’ Down the Tracks Old Time Fiddle Contest on Sept. 15-16, 2017, at Country Oaks Baptist Church, 20915 Schout Road, Tehachapi, funded in part by the Bakersfield Californian. This year’s contest will be held in memory of the late, great fiddler Big Howdy Forrester, who played with Roy Acuff and the Smoky Mountain Boys on the Grand Ole Opry for 36 years and with Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys for several years before that.

On Friday, registration for contestants will open at 1 p.m., and playing (open to the public for FREE) will start at 3 p.m. Friday’s contestants will include the Senior Division (ages 50-69), the Senior-Senior Division (ages 70+), and the Adult Band Scramble. After a brief dinner break, festivities will move to the social hall at Community Church, 100 East “E” Street in downtown Tehachapi, where there will be a contra dance, with an old time fiddle band and calls by Wayne Thompson. Refreshments for the dance will be provided by the Old Time Fiddlers. Instruction for newcomers will start at 6:30 p.m., with the actual dance commencing at 7 p.m. and ending at 9:30 p.m. Admission to the dance is only $5 per person.

On Saturday, registration for contestants will open at 8 a.m. Opening ceremonies will take place at 9 a.m. and playing will commence shortly thereafter with the Junior (ages 13-17), Junior-Junior (ages 9 -12), and Small Fry (ages 8 and below) Divisions. There will be a Howdy Forrester Division with a large trophy for the best rendition by a fiddler of an original tune or arrangement written by Howdy Forrester. In addition, Bob Forrester will award the 11th annual Howdy Forrester Memorial Scholarship ($1,000 and a plaque) to a high school fiddler who best exhibits the spirit of Big Howdy Forrester.

The day will continue with the Open Division (for the very best fiddlers!), Junior and Open Picking (guitar, banjo, mandolin), Junior and Open Novelty (any instrument NOT a fiddle or picking instrument), Twin Fiddles, Junior Band Scramble, and Cello/ Bass Fiddle Division. At the end of the evening, there will be the Grand Championship Playoff among the first place winners of all the fiddle divisions. The Grand Champion winner will be certified to the National Fiddle Contest held annually in Weiser, Idaho. CSOTFA rules will be followed. Awards will consist of trophies, medallions, and cash prizes for the top five finishers in each division, so come and cheer loudly for your favorites.

Judges for this year’s contest include Bob Forrester (Howdy’s son and a fiddle player in his own right) who is coming all the way from Nashville, TN; Arthur Kee, from Brentwood, CA, and Avery Ellisman from San Diego.

Where can you hear a day and a half of non-stop fiddling, playing with friends, learning new tunes, and winning prizes in the raffle, and all of it put on for FREE to the audience. Country Oaks has a great sound system, fine acoustics, and comfortable padded seats. The public is cordially invited to attend. Tehachapi has become a hotbed of fiddling and people come from all over California and other parts of the U.S. and Canada to take part in our contest.

This is good clean family entertainment so come to play—or listen—or tap your toes, but just come!!


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