For more than a decade, gathering has helped preserve Caldwell’s Culture
From courtesy submissions
LENOIR, N.C. – The 13th annual Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention is scheduled this weekend, Sept. 1-3 on the Jones Farm on N.C. Hwy. 268 east of Lenoir. It is devoted to the preservation and promotion of the cultural heritage and resources of the Happy Valley /Yadkin Valley regions by highlighting traditional old-time and bluegrass music and rural traditions. It features musicians from all over the United States.
Patrick Crouch, a lifelong Caldwell County resident and musician, said in an email, “The Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention is … one of my favorite events of the year. There are few places in nature as beautiful as Happy Valley and there are no sweeter sounds than those acoustic string instruments ringing through festival grounds punctuated with laughter and tapping feet.”
Crouch continued, “I am amazed to see that Tony Deal and his committee have planned ‘four pages of fun!’ The Friday night line up with Bob Carlin, Strictly Strings, and Alice Gerrard is spectacular. These folks are all-stars of traditional music and not to be missed.”
Crouch noted that Saturday is competition day. “You will get to hear our region’s best traditional musicians playing in an intimate setting through a magnificent sound system as they compete for cash prizes. There is individual instrument competition plus full band competition. There are also Youth stages, Workshop tents, and Luthier exhibits to enjoy. The gathering also offers fine storytelling. Rodney Sutton will be on hand promoting traditional dance throughout the weekend.”
Sunday is not to be missed either, insisted Crouch. “Sunday is a deluxe concert day. Live music starts at 10 a.m. and runs until after 5 p.m. There are a host of wonderful musicians performing on Sunday including The Neighbors, Bear Wallow Bluegrass, Emily Schaad, Presley Barker and Wayne Henderson, Steve and Donna Bing, Dom Flemons and Friends, Strictly Strings, Mel and Danny, Strictly Clean and Decent, the Harris Brothers, “Banjorama,” and the Kruger Brothers.
Primitive camping and nearby lodging is available. To learn more, call the Caldwell Arts Council at 828-754-2486 or visit https://happyvalleyfiddlers.org/.
Admission for Friday is $5. Admission for Saturday and Sunday is $10 each day. Children under 15 are admitted free. Primitive camping is available for $25 for the entire weekend, though that does not include the admission price.
Crouch offered, “I think the Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention is a Caldwell County treasure. There are many dedicated folks who plan and work this festival for the benefit of all Caldwell County citizens. This weekend of music and hospitality makes me so proud to know that I am surrounded by people who think live music and face-to-face human relationships are at the top of the list when it comes to quality of life.”
The Happy Valley Fiddler’s Convention is a not-for-profit program of the Caldwell Arts Council. Consequently, all funds beyond those necessary to ensure the continuation of the festival will go to youth scholarships and music programs that preserve traditional music, dance and instrument making activities.