BY    JIM Gramon       Printed in The Texas Co-Op  Power Magazine April 2003

State Championship Fiddlers' Frolics: April 24-27, Hallettsville


This month's event is special to

me because my grandfather, Kyle Alexander of Cumby, Texas, was a wonderful fiddle player. He met my grandmother when she followed the sound of his fiddling to a room where he was practicing. He didn't think you could have much of a band if you didn't have at least one fiddler!

Fiddlers' Frolics is a great family event, with some of the best music and musicians in the world cutting loose in almost every musical style you can imagine, but always with at least one fiddle. The centerpiece of the weekend is the contest in which the best fiddlers from around Texas (and beyond) vie for state bragging rights. Prize money has increased this year, so expect lots of contestants in each division. When they're not competing, the fiddlers and their backup players are frequently in jam sessions, which officially begin Thursday evening and unofficially continue all weekend. Saturday's lineup includes the Freshman and Senior divisions (the Freshman winner receives a handmade fiddle'), the guitar-picking contest, the Gone To Texas contest (for out-of-state contestants), and the Jackpot contest (sort of a stump-the-expert contest, •where tune names are drawn from a hat). Sunday is the big battle for the overall state title.

Lots of non-fiddling things to do? You   bet there are. Friday night is Cajun and Bluegrass Fun Night sponsored by Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooper­ative with dancing music and classic Cajun feasting. There's an arts and crafts show with loads of beautiful handcrafted items, including fiddles. If the kids get restless during the contest, they can find hours of fun at the Heart of Texas Carnival. Another special event is the induction of new fiddlers into the Texas Fiddlers' Hall of Fame. And then there's everyone's festival favorite—food! Whether you like Cajun, German, Czech or down-home Texas-style, there will be plenty for you to eat, since Fiddlers' Frolics hosts the Texas State Championship Sausage Cook-Off and the Jackpot Barbecue Cook-Off.

Details: Hallettsville is 100 miles due east of San Antonio on I-10 or 17 miles south of Schulenburg on U.S. Highway 77. Contact www.fiddlersfrolics.com or (361) 798-2311 or (361) 798-5934.

Jim Gramon is author of FUN Texas Festivals and Events, Famous Texas Folklorists and Their Stories and, just out, Legendary Texas Storytellers. www.JimGramon.com.