Smithville Fiddlers' Jamboree Goes Virtual for 2020
By: Atlanta Northcutt --- Reporter for the Southern Standard
The 49th annual Smithville Fiddlers' Jamboree and Crafts Festival will be holding a "Virtual Jamboree" for 2020 instead of taking place in downtown Smithville due to COVID-19.
Contestants uploaded personal videos in their chosen performance categories to the Smithville Fiddlers' Jamboree Facebook page, with entries ending May 28.
All entries will be judged now through Saturday, July 4 for the Fiddlers' Jamboree.
The winners will be announced Saturday, July 4 during a special feature broadcast through online streaming and televised media outlets.
Contestants can share their personal page and request friends and family members to vote by liking and sharing the video to their pages. The contestant with the most public responses will receive a “People’s Choice Award” for the 2020 Virtual Jamboree competition, with the individual being recognized by participating media outlets during the broadcast.
A $100 cash prize will be rewarded to each winning category, along with media publicity, press releases and various television coverage. The winners will be asked to provide a personal quote to the media for publication.
The yearly celebration of arts, crafts, food and music is a famous staple for the small town and beyond. It is a gathering that brings the community and region together, even if this year's event will be a virtual one.
Fiddlers' Jamboree is among the top-rated bluegrass, folk and Appalachian music competitions in the nation which draws over 140,000 visitors from around the nation and world. It was named the "Official Jamboree and Crafts Festival of the State of Tennessee and the United States of America" in 1997, and is a true celebration of the Appalachian culture that is deeply driven into the hearts of the local community and its residents.
There are a variety of categories to compete in, including square dancing, traditional folk singing, banjo, mandolin, guitar and harmonica playing. There are typically 31 categories with over $12,000 in prize money, but this year's virtual competition will have less entry positions due to the Jamboree being held online.
Typically, vendors sell old-time crafts and authentic contemporary pieces to visitors seeking unique items with food and beverages available.
The annual Smithville Fiddlers' Jamboree and Crafts Festival is truly a historic and important event and fun competition for those in the community and region, as well as those interested in this southern genre of music.