There will be plenty of fiddling around in the Beatrice area this Memorial Day weekend.
The Homestead National Monument of America is hosting its annual Tall Grass Prairie Fiddle Festival.
National Monument Ranger Susan Cook says this event marks two decades of entertainment and competition.
“It’s just an amazing way for us to share the pioneer life with the music because music was such a huge part of their lives,” Cook says. “It keeps growing and that’s what we’re excited about and we work hard at reaching out to music stores, musicians and teachers.”
Cook says participants in the Saturday fiddle competition will receive something special to mark the 20th annual event.
“The Coffin Family Foundation wanted to celebrate this 20th milestone with us so they offered to provide a t-shirt for any competitor,” Cook says. “They’re really beautiful, they’re really a cool design.”
“What’s happening is, we’re getting these youngsters coming in in the Junior Division and we have one of them who’s now in the Legend Division,” Cook says. “We’re watching these kids grow up and watching as they are just beginning to perform and then getting all the way up to winning competitions. It’s pretty neat to watch.”
Saturday’s Tall Grass Prairie Fiddle Festival takes place outside the Education Center starting at 10 a.m., with a fiddlin’ workshop. The competition in several divisions along with an acoustic band division begins at noon.
All songs performed must have been in existence by 1936, when the Homestead National Monument of America began.
Over $3,000 in prize money is offered, through the Coffin Family Foundation.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice