50th Annual Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddler's Convention
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50th Annual Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddler's Convention

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything." ~Plato

50th Annual Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddler's Convention

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddler's Convention. I have been attending this convention since before I can remember, and I have always thought back on it with fond memories. It is a festival full of creative booths, good food, and beautiful music. All around the Athens State College campus you can find small gatherings of musicians and singer's performing old country songs. Everywhere that you look you're surrounded by many artists with great talent. The convention showcases this talent, and welcomes people from all over. Since the convention's beginning fifty years ago they have been featured on a few television programs, been written about in many newspapers, and attended to by people from about 30 different states. Many bluegrass singers from all over have played there, and one band called Riders in the Sky played this evening. This band holds two Grammy's, and one is for their song "Woody's Round Up" from the Disney/Pixar movie Toy Story 2.

The convention was first held in an old, abandoned schoolhouse at Pleasant Point. The second one was held in the old high school gym of my alma mater, West Limestone High School. My family on my mother's side was very involved in the early years of the fiddler's convention. The second convention was held as a sort of fundraiser to finish building the Old Lester Hospital. This was done in memory of my great-great-uncle Doc who had started the hospital. He was an old country doctor, and a lover of fiddle music. Another member of my family, Bill Harrison, was known for being the one who launched the traditional anvil at the beginning of each convention. This was done every convention for the first fifteen years, and one of the anvils used currently resides in my grandfather's shop.

This convention is a fun gathering for people of all ages, and welcomes anyone who enjoys a good time. It has been going strong for years, and by the look of things will keep on going for many more. Each autumn down here in North Alabama brings with it the knowledge that the fiddler's convention will be getting started soon, and each year sees the return of old country music lover's. Together these people carry on the music they love to new generations, and they pay tribute to singer's of years past. I am honoured to say that I was able to be a part of this year's convention, and plan to keep on returning in the future.

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