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The Old Time Fiddler's Convention Returns To Union Grove After 30 Years

Casey VanHoy's grandfather founded the Old Time Fiddlers Convention in 1924. It ran until 1979, and after a 33-year break, he is

In this video, Casey VanHoy speaks to Union Grove's musical hearitage. He plays with local musicians J.P. VanHoy, Jr., Clay Lunsford, Jack Lunsford, and Bobby Martin. This weekend, amateur musicians will descend on the small community of Union Grove in Iredell County for a fiddling contest. The "Old Time Fiddler's Convention" began in the 1920s and eventually grew to become one of the largest events of its type in the world. This weekend's convention will be the first time the contest has been held in more than 30 years. Casey VanHoy is the grandson of the man who started the convention. He also owns the farm where it's held. WFAE went to the farm to meet with VanHoy and some of his musician buddies, some of whom played the convention in the past. Listen to story. Casey VanHoy's grandfather founded the Old Time Fiddlers Convention in 1924. It ran until 1979, and after a 33-year break, he is reviving it April 6. Photo: Tanner Latham VanHoy: Well, we had some complaints. If you have 125,000 people and you have one tenth of one percent doing things they're not supposed to be doingthe 70s was a time when there was a lot of drug experimentation and things of that nature. So you can imagine with drugs and things people get a little bent out of shape. So we just thought maybe its time to cool it for a little bit. But we always had it in our minds to do the convention again. Terry: So on that note: why now? VanHoy: Well it feels right. We've done a lot of shows over the years. But they didn't have the same appeal to us as the Fiddler's Convention did. But I guess about the last five years my brothers and I have been planning on this and this year the stars aligned right and we just thought we would do it. Terry: What does the return mean for you personally? VanHoy: Well it's my grandfather's event so we want to handle it with care. And we want to bring it back and to be a vindication for my grandfather and my dad. You know those guys, if you could say anything about the Fiddler's Convention's in the past: they were too successful, my dad did too good of a job promoting. And they people I've called to invite have said 'this is great, we're so looking forward, we're glad you're doing this again, thank you.' Union Grove musicians, from left, Bobby Martin, Casey VanHoy, and Jack Lunsford, perform in preparation for the Old Time Fiddlers Convention. Photo: Tanner Latham