The Ashe County Board of Commissioners were updated on the Ashe County Arts Council’s plans for the Ashe County Old Time and Bluegrass Fiddler’s Convention at their regular scheduled meeting Monday, July 21.
“We have been putting a lot of time and thought into the infrastructure of this event,” Jane Lonon, executive director of the Arts Council, said.
This is the first year the Arts Council has hosted the event. For the previous 44 years, the event was hosted by the Rotary Club of the Jeffersons.
“The Arts Council did not want to see (the event die) so we have been working very hard the last six to eight months putting everything together to put on a quality event for Ashe County,” Lonon said.
The Ashe County Fiddler’s Convention will take place Friday, Aug. 1 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 2 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Ashe County Park. Registration will take place backstage on Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“It’s going to be such a pleasure to be in Ashe County’s park and be able to hold the event there,” she said. “It’s really perfect on so many levels.”
Tickets are $10 for one day or $15 for a two-day pass and children under the age of 12 are admitted free with a paying adult. Tickets are available at the Ashe County Arts Council in West Jefferson, where credit cards are accepted or at the gate of Ashe County Park, where they will accept cash and check.
“We will have folks at the gate that will be sensitive to people who don’t know the park is hosting the Fiddler’s Convention and there to do something else,” Lonon said. “That won’t be a barrier to admittance to the park. If somebody’s there to take their kids to the playground or do Frisbee golf, we will certainly handle that appropriately.”
Lonon said the money raised from the event will help pay for the event, prize money for the competitors ($4,350) and the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program.
“(JAM) is a program the Arts Council has sponsored in partnership with after school programs and Ashe County Schools to provide free instruction for students in 4th, 5th and 6th grades in banjo, fiddle and guitar,” Lonon said.
Camping at Ashe County Park is $15 per night with electricity hookups or $10 with no electricity connection.
For more information. go to www.ashefiddlersconvention.org or call the Arts Council at 336-846-2787.
In other action taken by the Board:
• The Board approved the monthly tax report from Tax Administrator Keith Little.
• Approved appointments to the Airport Advisory Board, Workforce Board, Library Board and Planning Board.
• In attendance were Commissioners Larry Rhodes, William Sands, Gary Roark and Judy Porter Poe.
The next meeting of the Board of Commissioners will take place Monday, Aug. 4.
Wil Petty can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty.