West Virginia has seven winners at bluegrass festival

August 12, 2018
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The Big Possum String Band, from St. Albans, won first place for Traditional Band at the Appalachian String Band Music Festival.

CLIFFTOP, W.Va. — The 29th annual Appalachian String Band Music Festival at Camp Washington-Carver in Clifftop, Fayette County, fiddled down the music on their last day, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018. But not all participants left empty-handed. Twenty-one musicians, 12 bands and 11 dancers from California to Maine took home a total of $7,500 in prize money.

Seven of the winners are from West Virginia, including Jim Mullins of St. Albans who placed third in senior banjo. Tessa Dillon, St. Albans, placed third place on fiddle and the Big Possum String Band also from St. Albans took home first place in Traditional Band.

Other West Virginia winners included: Joseph Riley, from Hillsboro in Pocahontas County, first place Youth Traditional Band; Luke Snuffer, from Beckley in Raleigh County, second place Flatfoot — 15 years of age and younger; and Will Roboski, Elkins, Randolph County, third place Flatfoot — 60 and older. Huntington native Lucas Bryant won third place Flatfoot in the 15 years of age and younger category.

More than 3,000 musicians, dancers, fans and friends representing all 50 states and 10 countries attended the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History’s five-day-event that features some of the world’s finest string-band musicians and flat-foot dancers. Contests were held in four traditional categories — fiddle, banjo, string band and flat-foot dance — plus one neo-traditional string band category.

The festival had been held this year at Camp Washington-Carver serves as the state’s mountain cultural arts center. For more information about the 29th annual Appalachian String Band Music Festival, contact Andrea Nelson, public information specialist for the department, at 304-558-0220.

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