West Virginia’s champion old-time fiddle, bluegrass banjo, mandolin players competed for top honors on Saturday, May 28, during the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History’s 45th annual Vandalia Gathering. On Sunday, May 29, old-time banjo, lap dulcimer, flatpick guitar musicians and liars vied for awards.
Senior Old-Time Banjo (age 60 and over)
1st place – Bob Smakula, Montrose
2nd place – Gerry Milnes, Elkins
3rd place – John Morris, Ivydale
4th place – Jim Mullins, St. Albans
5th place – Dennis Bills, Huntington
Flatpick Guitar (all ages)
1st place – Dan Kessinger, St. Marys
2nd place – Jakob Thomas, Clendenin
3rd place – Jarrod Saul, Sumerco
4th place – Matt Lindsey, Culloden
5th place – Hazel Riley, Hillsboro
Liars (all ages)
Biggest Liar (1st place and Goldenseal magazine’s Golden Shovel award) – Kally Hall, Hurricane
Bigger Liar (2nd place) – David Long, Keyser
Big Liar (3rd place) – Jeff Johnson, Scott Depot
Youth (age 15 and under, and Goldenseal magazine’s Golden Shovel award) – Zane Wilkinson, Ovapa
The annual Vandalia Gathering is a free celebration of the traditional arts, music, dance, stories, crafts and foods of West Virginia. The Culture Center and State Capitol Complex grounds host this expanding family-style gathering each year on Memorial Day weekend. The unique blending of ethnic and cultural heritage combines an atmosphere as comfortable as a family reunion with the excitement of a state fair. The statewide folk festival, named for the proposed 14th colony, pays tribute to the state’s ethnic heritage through a variety of exhibitions and programs.
Vandalia Gathering is a program of the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History. For more information, contact Andrea Nelson, public information specialist for the department, at (304) 558-0220 or Andrea.E.Nelson@wv.gov.