Fiddler's Jamboree fills next weekend

ATHOL A lively local tradition of rousing mountain music is coming up next weekend, as Thurmans Fiddlers Jamboree is presented for three full days, Sept. 5 - 7 at the towns recreation field. The family-oriented festival, which has earned a spot in the hearts of many local people and visitors, features a strong lineup of musicians plus food, crafts, workshops, games and even the tradition known as field pickin, organizer Jim Ligon said. You can go out in the field and jam with other musicians as you wish, far enough away not to interfere the bands playing onstage either playing along with their music, or working on your own tunes, he said. If you get jamming with some musicians and something sounds real good, you can jump up onstage and do a couple tunes, too. There will be square dancing lessons for adults and children, and Jimmy Davis will be on hand with his huge collection of fiddles, banjos, guitars and mandolin, Ligon said. The weekend also features workshops on techniques for fiddle, banjo dulcimer, guitar, mandolin and bass, he said. This is a great chance to learn new licks or learn to square dance, he said. Stringed instrument repair by skilled artisans will be available throughout Saturday. Crafts to be on display include traditional skills that are now fading into history, including crocheting, Ligon said. Admission, Ligon said, will be easy on the wallet, with admission only $6 for Friday or $7 for Saturday alone, and free-will donations collected Sunday for the Gospel events, he said. Fridays lineup onstage includes the Riverview Ramblers opening the Jamboree at 5 p.m. Gates and food booths open a half-hour earlier. The Ramblers alternate with the acclaimed duo Sara Milonovich and Greg Anderson, until an Open mike jam session occurs at 9 p.m. Saturdays events start with the local firefighters serving up breakfast at 8 a.m., accompanied in the town hall with live fiddle music. At 10 a.m., talented 11-year-old fiddler Dorothy Jane Siver takes to the stage performing bluegrass tunes with her family backing her up on a variety of instruments. Following at about one hour intervals will be a strong lineup of mountain music-makers, including the String Dusters, Dont Quit Your Day Job, and the Adirondack Fiddlers, all accomplished musicians with considerable talent. They are followed by the Lockhart Mountain Boys, and Cedar Ridge, the latter starting off the evenings performers at 6 p.m. with the two alternating until the 9 p.m. open jam session. Sunday includes six gospel groups in eight sessions, running from noon to the Jamborees closing at 7 p.m. Featured are Jim Davis & Friends, the High Gear Gospel Band, the Charlie Payne Family Band and others. Camping is available at Glen-Hudson Campsites and Stony Creek Campground, both of which are offering a discount to Jamboree attendees. Theres also a long list of Bed and Breakfast accommodations available in Warrensburg or right in Thurman at the Glen Lodge & Market north of Warrensburg on state Rte. 28. Jamboree participants are urged to bring folding chairs and jackets, as nights can be cool. Tents will be on hand so the festivities can continue regardless of rain. Ligon said Monday the Fiddlers Jamboree was gathering a loyal following, and has been growing steadily and substantially over the past 11 years. But the tradition runs deep in Thurman, as the Jamboree was built on the success of the Fiddlers Roundup which was held at Toad Hill Farm for many years earlier. These festivals draw on the rural tradition of kitchen hops, or long jam sessions in which the musicians would play and family members and friends would kick their shoes off and dance the night away. This is real mountain music with deep roots here in Thurman, Ligon said.

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