The Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival (previously the Monumental Fiddling and Acoustic Band Championships) will be held on Saturday, May 23, 2015, at Homestead National Monument of America’s Education Center. The event features a festive environment for people to watch, but what’s exciting are all the prizes that can be won by the participants! $3,000 in prize money, sponsored by the Coffin Family Foundation, will be shared between four categories. One lucky fiddler will receive a violin, donated by violin maker Nancy Rohn from Corvalis, Oregon. New this year is a partnership with the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN. The winner of the Senior and Legend Divisions will each win a pair of tickets to the Grand Ole Opry.
The battle for the prizes will start at 12 noon. The competing divisions are: Junior Division (less than five years’ experience), Senior Division (five years of experience or more), Legends Division (past 1st place winners of the Senior Division), and the Acoustic Band Division. Contestants will play three pieces; a hoedown, waltz and tune of choice. There are no participant or registration fees. The event is free to all, whether you compete or join the fun by being in the audience.
Morning workshops, fiddle playing at 10 a.m. and harmonica playing at 11 a.m., are open to everyone free of charge. Participants wanting to join the fiddle workshop will need to provide their own fiddle while harmonicas can be purchased prior to the workshop at the Homestead Bookstore located in the Homestead Education Center. Non-players are welcome to listen.
This popular event celebrates music from the homesteading period. Music was a common thread among pioneers of all ages. The Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival is an opportunity to highlight this historic activity and heighten awareness and enthusiasm for fiddling. Music fans wanting to spend the whole day at the Monument can do so. Back Alley Eatery will be on hand to serve lunch and drinks.
“This event has grown tremendously over the years and is a great family event,” said Mark Engler, Superintendent of Homestead National Monument of America. “We’re lucky to have the team of Greenblatt and Seay back for another great year to manage the competition and to be a part of this fun music filled day.”
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (HomesteadNM).
Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.