Local News Articles

Neil Dudney to Retire as President and Coordinator of Fiddler's Jamboree

July 5, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Neil Dudney will soon be retiring as President and Coordinator of the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival, a position he has held for sixteen years.

A plaque was presented to Dudney Saturday night on stage prior to the beginning of the finals competition.

The plaque reads "This plaque is presented to Neil Dudney for 16 years of service to the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival as President and Coordinator. Your hard work and dedication have helped preserve Appalachian music and crafts for future generations. Your efforts will long be remembered "

Dudney received the plaque from the man expected to be his successor as Jamboree President and Coordinator, Jack Barton, who is currently assistant Jamboree Coordinator.

Dudney told WJLE Saturday night that he will continue to be a part of the Jamboree, serving as an assistant and advisor.

Dudney is one of the founders of the festival. Up until he was named President and Coordinator, Dudney served as sound engineer for the Fiddler's Jamboree.

Dudney's wife, children, sons-in-law, and grandchildren joined him on stage as he received his award.

(Click on picture to see larger image)

Eric Vick Named Grand Champion Fiddler of 37th Jamboree

July 5, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Grand Champion Fiddler of the 37th annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival is Eric Vick of Lyles, Tennessee.

Vick won the Berry C. Williams Memorial Award Saturday night after the Grand Finale Fiddle-Off between the best Junior and Senior Fiddler.

Vick made it to the fiddle off by winning the Junior Fiddling competition and he won the Grand Championship by beating the winner of the Senior Fiddling contest and defending champion from last year, Ped Scruggs of Hartsville.

The two day festival came to a close at 11:00 p.m. Saturday night.

Other winners in the Saturday session of the Fiddler's Jamboree are as follows:

Junior Fiddlers (Ages 13-39): First Place- Eric Vick of Lyles, Tennessee; Second Place- Gailanne Amundsen of Longwood, Florida; and Third Place- Maddie Denton of Murfreesboro

Junior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages up to 39): First Place- Justin Frazor of Smyrna; Second Place- Woody Stephenson of Nashville; and Third Place- Jacob Campbell of Murfreesboro.

Senior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Michael Oliver of Hartsville; Second Place- Jay Bland of Kennesaw, Georgia; and Third Place-Edward Adams of Lebanon.

Senior Buck Dancing (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Michael Oliver of Hartsville; Second Place- Eileen Stewart of Murfreesboro; and Third Place- Darrin Stryker of Crossville.

Senior Clogging (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Michael Oliver of Hartsville; Second Place- Sherry Guenther of Monterey; and Third Place- Tammy Scruggs Reed of Hartsville.

Bluegrass Banjo: First Place- Kurt Stephenson of Dyersburg; Second Place- Sarah Ward of Columbia; and Third Place- Chuck Holcomb of Winchester.

Bluegrass Band: First Place- Crosswind of Olive Hill, Tennessee; Second Place- Grass Cutters of Cookeville; and Third Place- Blue Tradition of Murfreesboro.

Senior Fiddlers ( Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Ped Scruggs of Hartsville. Second Place- Delmer Holland of Waverly; and Third Place- R.B. Scruggs of Hartsville.

Square Dancing: First Place- Little Texas of Franklin; Second Place- Rocky Top Revue of Franklin; and Third Place-Rhythm-N-Motion of Cookeville.

Indiana Boy Wins Jamboree Fiddling Championship for Beginners

July 5, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

An Indiana boy took home this year's top Jamboree award as the best fiddler in the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners.

Cole McCracken of Fredricksburg, Indiana was crowned the Grand Champion fiddler Saturday and 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.

Meanwhile Grant Rigney of Normandy, Tennessee received the "Entertainer of the Year" Award, which is presented to the best overall instrumental entertainer among winners in the dobro guitar, mandolin, five string banjo, and flat top guitar competition.

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-Cole McCracken of Fredricksburg, Indiana; Second Place- Grant Rigney of Normandy, Tennessee; and Third Place- Brandon Shull of Lancaster, Ohio.

Buck Dancing: First Place- Kelly Eicher of Allensville, Kentucky; Second Place- Keley Tomlin of Springfield, Tennessee; and Third Place- Caroline Dean of Greenbrier, Tennessee.

Clogging: First Place- Sierra Tomlin of Springfield; Second Place- Keley Tomlin of Springfield; and Third Place- Raygan Sellers of Ashland City.

Dobro Guitar: First Place- Grant Rigney of Normandy; Second Place- Tyler Sellers of Ashland City; and Third Place- Adam Keckritz of Tullahoma..

Mandolin: First Place- Kyle Ramey of North Vernon, Indiana; Second Place- Grant Rigney of Normandy; and Third Place- Tyler Sellers of Ashland City.

Five String Banjo: First Place- Daniel Arrick of Pleasantville, Tennessee; Second Place- Adam Keckritz of Tullahoma; and Third Place- Cara DiGiovanni of Greenbrier

Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Abby Ward of Columbia; Second Place- Jessie Hester of Chapmansboro, Tennessee; and Third Place- Grant Rigney of Normandy.

Kentucky Man Overall Winner in Fiddler 5K

July 5, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

34 year old Christopher England of Murray, Kentucky was the overall winner of the 2008 Fiddler 5K race held Saturday morning in Smithville.

England completed the 5K in 16 minutes and 30 seconds, a new record, beating the old course record by 33 seconds.

Meanwhile, 17 year old Sara Tarashima of Richmond, Indiana was the top overall female, with a time of 21 minutes and 46 seconds.

20 year old Lee Davis of Birmingham, Alabama had the overall best time in the One-Mile Fun Run, at 7 minutes and 29 seconds.

In the age group, 12 and younger, 7 year old Ethan Jenkins of Smithville had the best time of 9 minutes and 23 seconds in the One Mile Fun Run, followed in second place by Bill Miller of Smithville, and Daniel Puckett of Smithville, who came in third place

A total of 277 runners competed in this year's Fiddler 5K and One Mile Fun Run, also a new record.

Among the runners was Staff Sergeant Eric Sanders, who is home from Iraq for some rest and relaxation. He scheduled his leave so that he could participate in the Fiddler 5K. Sanders arrived home Friday.

All proceeds from the Fiddler 5 K and One Mile Fun Run will go to benefit DeKalb County Habitat for Humanity.

(Click on picture to see larger image)

Senator Beavers Presents Flags to Jamboree Visitors from Australia and California

July 4, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Senator Beavers Presents Flags to Jamboree Visitors from Australia

Senator Beavers Presents Flags to Jamboree Visitors from Australia

State Senator Mae Beavers presented a United States flag to Lee Ann Sufann from Australia and a Tennessee State flag to Allen Roark from San Jose, California during the Fiddler's Jamboree on Friday night

The flags go to the persons who travel the greatest distances, both from inside and outside the country, to get here. (Click on picture to see larger image)

Except for an hour rain delay Friday afternoon, the first day of the 37th annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival ran non-stop from about 8:30 a.m. until 11:22 p.m. Friday night.

Preliminaries were held in fifteen categories of music and dance competition followed by the finals featuring the top three acts in each event.

The following are the winners in each category:

Old Time Appalachian Folk Singing (Solo/Duet): First Place- Gailanne Amundsen of Longwood, Florida; Second Place- Bailey Cooke of Nashville; and Third Place- Sierra Tomlin of Springfield.

Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna; Second Place- Will McMeans of Lester, Alabama; and Third Place- Casey Campbell of Kingston Springs.

Junior Clogging (Ages 13-39): First Place- Melissa Pack of Lebanon; Second Place- Chris Stewart of Lyles, Tennessee; and Third Place- Joey Jonte of Dickson..

Junior Buck Dancing (Ages 13-39): First Place- Justin Frazor of Smyrna; Second Place- Jacob Campbell of Murfreesboro; and Third Place Kory Posey of Murfreesboro

Dobro Guitar: First Place- Earl Grubbs of Murfreesboro; Second Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna; and Third Place- Will McMeans of Lester, Alabama.

Mountain Dulcimer: First Place- Bobby Nobley of LaGrange, Georgia; Second Place- Isaac Vick of Lyles, Tennessee; and Third Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna.

Hammer Dulcimer: First Place- Howard Friedman of Knoxville; Second Place- Lewis Taylor of Ringgold, Georgia; and Third Place- Chris Brown of Beechgrove, Tennessee

Novelty Event: First Place- Pa Fields and the Whambangers of Crossville; Second Place- Jim Owens of Deatsville, Alabama; and Third Place- Wes Langlois of Nashville.

Old Time Fiddle Band: First Place- Imer Holland Blue Creek Ramblers of Waverly, Tennessee; Second Place- Spring Creek of Lester, Alabama; and Third Place- The Lickabees of Nashville.

Autoharp: First Place- Bobby Nobley of LaGrange, Georgia and Second Place- Austin Vick of Lyles, Tennessee. There was no third place winner.

Gospel Singing (Solo): First Place-Emily Dean of Greenbrier; Second Place- Samantha Lewis of Smithville; and Third Place- Sierra Tomlin of Springfield.

Country Harmonica: First Place- Ronnie Murphy of Oakland, Kentucky; Second Place- Lewis Taylor of Ringgold, Georgia; and Third Place- Isaac Vick of Lyles, Tennessee

Old Time Banjo: First Place- Eric Vick of Lyles; Second Place- Rebeka Weiler of Murfreesboro; and Third Place- Benjamin Bateson of Murfreesboro

Gospel Singing (Duet, Trio, & Quartet): First Place- Eastern Sky of Morrow, Ohio; Second Place-Sarah and Danny of Dowelltown; and Third Place- Jubal's Kin of Longwood, Florida

Mandolin:First Place- Bobby Nobley of LaGrange, Georgia; Second Place- Will McMeans of Lester, Alabama; and Third Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna.

The Saturday session of the Fiddler's Jamboree begins at 9:00 a.m.

Fiddler's Jamboree Presents Craft Awards

July 4, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Nolan & Susan Pazin (Best of Show)

Fiddler's Jamboree Craft awards were presented Friday.

Nolan and Susan Pazin of Baxter received the "Best of Show" award for their wood working crafts.

The "Best Appalachian Craft Award" went to Ron Hyndman of Mount Juliet for his gourds.

Jared Weaver of Lenior City was the recipient of the "Best Newcomer Award" for his dulcimers

The "Best of Display Booth" award went to Darren Jenkins of Trade, Tennessee for his birdhouses.

(Click on picture to see larger image) Look for pictures of other Jamboree craft winners on our special Jamboree picture page.

Local Civic Leader Honored at Fiddler's Jamboree

July 4, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Local Civic Leader Honored at Fiddler's Jamboree

County Mayor Mike Foster (left) Jimmy Walls (right)

The 37th annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree & Crafts Festival is underway. It began around 8:30 a.m. today (Friday) with welcoming remarks by local government and civic leaders.

County Mayor Mike Foster made a special presentation to Jimmy Walls for his service to the community.

The plaque presented to Walls reads " In appreciation for your life long service and dedication to Smithville and DeKalb County. We applaud your leadership, your courage, and your fortitude. Your contributions to this community have been a glowing example for all to see and admire. You have always set standards for excellence. We appreciate you very much. Presented by the DeKalb County Mayor and Commission and on behalf of Smithville"

The DeKalb County Commission, last month, recognized Mr. Walls.

The resolution, in part, reads " Whereas, from time to time, it is appropriate for DeKalb County to recognize people who unselfishly serve our County. It is therefore fitting that the DeKalb County Commission and County Mayor honor Jimmy Walls for the service he has given his Country, his County, and his State."

Two More Businesses Awarded Thursday in "Project Welcome Mat"

July 3, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Liberty State Bank and Sunbelt Realty were awarded for their participation in "Project Welcome Mat" Thursday.

Liberty State Bank won the "People's Choice" award for their two sided sign. On one side the sign reads "Make your day a Fiddler's Quest, Come join the Music, Fun & Fest." The other side of the sign reads " Wanna feel like you're in Heaven? Come join us at the Fiddler's Jamboree # 37"

The award for "Most Original" went to Sunbelt Realty for their sign " We hear U Fiddler's are Cloggin n Kickin' to git to Smithville to do ur Pickin'."

"Project Welcome Mat" is an effort by the Chamber of Commerce to ensure that our Jamboree visitors feel welcome. The Chamber would like to express gratefulness to the busineses and schools that used their signs to promote tourism and to show hospitality to people visiting DeKalb County.

18 Year Old Dies in ATV Accident

July 3, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

An 18 year old Sparta man died in an ATV accident on Indian Mound Road Wednesday evening in DeKalb County.

Dead is Jacob Cole.

Trooper Mark Jones of the Tennessee Highway Patrol reports that Cole was traveling east when the ATV left the road to the right and struck a tree, ejecting him. Cole was wearing a helmet.

DeKalb EMS was summoned to the scene and later an Air Evac Helicopter ambulance but Cole apparently died before he could be airlifted.

Central dispatch had received a call at 6:42 p.m. of an ATV driving at a high rate of speed on Indian Mound Road. A county officer, who went to the area, apparently discovered the accident and requested that EMS be dispatched to the scene. Air Evac arrived at 7:47 p.m.

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and the Cookeville Highway Station of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department also responded.

Chamber Awards the First of Three Winners In "Project Welcome Mat" Wednesday

July 2, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Project Welcome Mat

The Smithville- DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce honored the first of three winners Wednesday in "Project Welcome Mat".

"Project Welcome Mat" awards three categories, "Most Original", "Best Worded", and "People's Choice"

DeKalb Community Bank received the "Best Worded" award for their sign " A Knee Slappin' Fiddle Jammin', Mouth Waterin' Good Time Fiddler's Jamboree July 4th & 5th".

"Project Welcome Mat" is an effort by the Chamber to ensure that our Jamboree visitors feel welcome. The Chamber would like to express gratefulness to the busineses and schools that used their signs to promote tourism and to show hospitality to people visiting DeKalb County.

(click on picture to see a larger image)

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