A Henry, Tennessee girl won the top Jamboree award Saturday as the best fiddler in the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners.
Iris Shepherd won the coveted James G. "Bobo" Driver Memorial Award, named for the man who started the children's competition during the 1980's as part of the annual Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival. Driver's son Jimmy Driver and granddaughter Kim Luton presented the award to Shepherd.
Meanwhile Brayden Chunn of Greenbriar was named "Entertainer of the Year". The award is presented to the best overall instrumental entertainer among winners in the dobro guitar, mandolin, five string banjo, and flat top guitar competition.
Chunn placed first in the Mandolin and Clogging competition; second in Dobro Guitar and Buck Dancing, and third place in the Fiddle and Flat Top Guitar contests.
The National Championship for Country Musician Beginners showcases the talents of children up to age twelve in seven categories of competition.
This year's winners are as follows:
Fiddle: First Place- Iris Shepherd of Henry, Tennessee; Second Place- Hailey Bryant of Grenbriar; and Third Place- Brayden Chunn of Greenbriar.
Buck Dancing: First Place- Kaelin Wade of Paris, Tennessee; Second Place- Brayden Chunn of Greenbrier, and Third Place- Jacob Ferrell of Dickson
Clogging: First Place- Brayden Chunn of Greenbrier; Second Place- Arlee Fowlkes of Hurricane Mills, Tennessee; and Third Place- Emily Brown of Hartsville.
Dobro Guitar: First Place- Maddie McKenney of Cullman, Alabama; Second Place- Brayden Chunn of Greenbriar; and Third Place- Darrah Ramsey of Smithville.
Mandolin: First Place-Brayden Chunn of Greenbriar; Second Place-Maddie McKenney of Cullman, Alabama; and Third Place- Kevin Beddingfield of Flag Pond, Tennessee.
Five String Banjo: First Place- Conner Derryberry of Shelbyville; Second Place- Cooper Brown of Smithville; and Third Place- Kevin Beddingfield of Flag Pond, Tennessee
Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Robert Wheeler of Smithville; Second Place-Mary Davis of Knoxville; and Third Place- Brayden Chunn of Greenbriar
The Fiddler's Jamboree will conclude later tonight.
Finals are upcoming in the following categories:
*Junior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance (ages up to 39)
*Senior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance ( ages 40 and over)
*Senior Buckdancing (ages 40 and over)
*Senior Clogging (ages 40 and over)
*Junior Fiddlers (ages 13-39)
*Flat Top Guitar
*Contest Fiddle for the Neil Dudney Award
*Senior Fiddlers (ages 40 and over)
*Square Dancing (4 Couples-8 Total Dancers).
The winners of the Junior and Senior Fiddling competition will square off for the Grand Champion Award, the Berry C. Williams Memorial Trophy at the conclusion of the festival.
The Jamboree Blue Blaze Award will be presented at 5:00 p.m. to recognize a band that is actively cultivating a love of bluegrass music. This year’s winner is the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band.
WJLE will broadcast the on-stage entertainment LIVE on AM 1480/ FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com.
In addition to music and dancing competitions onstage, the Fiddlers Jamboree also features dozens of crafts displayed along the downtown streets, plenty of delicious foods for sale at local food booths, and lots of shade tree picking under trees around the town square.