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Vandalia Gathering winners announced

By Staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia's champion old-time fiddle and banjo, bluegrass banjo, lap dulcimer, flatpick guitar and mandolin players competed for top honors May 25 during the West Virginia Division of Culture and History's 37th annual Vandalia Gathering. The winners were:

Youth Old-Time Fiddle (age 15 and under):

First place - Walter King, Elkins

Second place - Lydia Hager, Kenna

Third place - Chloe Sergent, Milton

Old-Time Fiddle (age 59 and under):

First - Dan Kessinger, St. Marys

Second - Jason Chewning, Beverly

Third - Walter King, Elkins

Fourth - Cody Jordan, Point Pleasant

Fifth - Robbie Mann, Glenville

Senior Old-Time Fiddle (age 60 and over):

First - Elmer Rich, Morgantown

Second - Jim Mullins, St. Albans

Third - Terry Vaughan, Cross Lanes

Fourth - John Morris, Ivydale

Fifth - Richard Eddy, Maidsville

Mandolin (all ages):

First - David Watson Jr., West Union

Second - Dan Kessinger, St. Marys

Third - Karl Smakula, Montrose

Fourth - Robin Kessinger, St. Albans

Fifth - Ben Perdue, Morgantown

Bluegrass Banjo (all ages):

First - Logan Browning, St. Albans

Second - Marteka Lake, Hacker Valley

Third - Karl Smakula, Montrose

Fourth - Robert Russell, Tallmansville

Fifth - Blaine Johnson, Beaver

Lap Dulcimer (all ages):

First - Martha Turley, Ona

Second - Will Manahan, Elkview

Third - Ezra Drumheller, Prosperity

Fourth - Ryan Davis, Beckley

Fifth - Morgan Spradling, Beckley

Old-Time Banjo (59 and under):

First - Tim Bing, Huntington

Second - Logan Hoy, Belle

Third - Dennis Ott, Ronceverte

Fourth - Chad Ashworth, St. Albans

Fifth - James Blankenship, Sand Fork

Senior Old-Time Banjo (age 60 and over):

First - Jim Mullins, St. Albans

Second - Paul Gartner, Yawkey

Third - Ken Sheller, Elkins

Fourth - John Morris, Ivydale

Youth Flatpick Guitar (age 15 and under):

First - Bryant Underwood, Charleston

Second - Isaac Putnam, Looneyville

Third - Claire Walker, Charleston

Flatpick Guitar (all ages):

First - Adam Hager, Kenna

Second - Jamie Rhodes, Culloden

Third - Matt Lindsey, Dunbar

Fourth - Doug Workman, St. Albans

Fifth - Jarrod Saul, Sumerco

Vandalia Gathering will be featured June 22 during West Virginia's 150th birthday celebration at the state Capitol. Food and craft vendors will be plentiful on the Capitol grounds. Concerts will feature some of the winners in mandolin, bluegrass and old-time banjo, flatpick guitar, lap dulcimer and old-time fiddle contests, and gospel singing will take place throughout the day. Competitions will be held for the best pound cake, cupcake and maple cookie, as well as the annual Liars Contest. An outdoor dance stage will present heritage and ethnic dancing, traditional square dancing and flatfoot and clogging opportunities, with bands and callers on hand. The Old-Time-for-Young-'Uns area will provide a 4-H campfire experience for youth of all ages.

The annual Vandalia Gathering is a free celebration of the traditional arts, music, dance, stories, crafts and foods of West Virginia. The Culture Center and State Capitol Complex grounds play host to this expanding family-style gathering each year on Memorial Day weekend. The statewide folk festival, named for the proposed 14th colony, pays tribute to the state's ethnic heritage through a variety of exhibitions and programs.

Vandalia Gathering is a program of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. For information, contact Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner and communications manager for the Division, at 304-558-0220.


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