The twang of a banjo, the sigh of a fiddle and the bellow of a bass will be some of the sounds you can hear this weekend at the Yadkin Valley Bluegrass Convention.
The convention will be held at Yadkinville Elementary School. The Friday performance will start at 7 p.m., and admission is $5. Competitions begin on Saturday at 1 p.m. and admission is $10. Children 10 and under get in free.
This marks the 28th year for the convention put on by the Yadkin Cultural Arts Council.
“When we started 28 years ago, the Jaycees were on a shoestring budget,” said Event Director Robert Steelman. “We couldn’t afford to give out a lot of prize money and at the time bluegrass seemed more popular in our area. We’ve had several folks asking about an old-time category in recent years so last year we decided to take the plunge.”
Last year was also the first year that the convention experimented with a two-day event and due to the success of that venture officials brought it back once more.
“This year the Friday performance will be more low key,” said Steelman. “We’re going to have Mountain Park Old Time Band and Travis Frye. They have a good local following and we think this is going to be a great performance. These bands don’t mind if people dance during their sets and since they are local bands we can have a cheaper admission price.”
On Saturday the convention will kick off just after lunch and will host hundreds of musicians during its bluegrass and old-time competitions. The event will be split into a band category and an individual’s category.
The band categories will include bluegrass and old-time bands. The individual categories will include bluegrass fiddle, old-time fiddle, bluegrass banjo, old-time banjo, mandolin, guitar, acoustic bass, dobro, dulcimer and vocal.
“Since last year was the first year we had the old-time categories so we didn’t really expect a lot but this year I am expecting we’ll have more contestants in those categories, and I’m expecting we’ll have a bigger crowd overall,” Steelman said.
Last year’s convention saw a large turnout of youth and young adult competitors. Steelman said jayhe was pleased to see their involvement and expects to see youth numbers grow even more this year.
“There are usually more young competitors coming from a distance than older ones,” Steelman said. “I think they starve for the opportunity to participate in these things and if they’re really interested they’re going to drive.”
Steelman said that he expects that the convention as a whole will continue to grow and he won’t be surprised to see a 10 to 20 percent increase in this year’s attendance. He credits the continued success of the convention to the family atmosphere and a very organized competition.
“I’ve think people who’ve been before will try to get back if there’s any way,” Steelman said. “They know it’s good and they know that if they’re a musician they’ll be treated fairly. It’s just safe, good, clean fun.”
Performer registration for the event begins at noon on April 20. Concessions will be available on site and alcohol is not allowed. Visit www.yadkingrass.com for more information.
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.