By Craig Day, The News On 6
GROVE, OK -- One of the great things about this time of year is that there are fun festivals held across Oklahoma. From strawberries, to hot rods, to Wild West shows, we celebrate some of the unique things our state has to offer.
At an old Walmart turned civic center in Grove, you won't hear the typical department store elevator music. Instead, you'll hear dozens of fiddle players from all over who are competing during the Grand Lake National Fiddle Fest 2010.
"So it's three days of fabulous playing, contests, performers," said Jana Jae, event organizer.
The Grand Lake National Fiddle Fest is part of the American Heritage Music Festival.
"They're here to have a good time and play," said Jae.
You can't help but have a good time when you hear the talent. Contestants play three songs for the judges: a hoedown, waltz and a song of choice -- all in the hopes of winning the $1,000 grand prize.
Some start playing young...
"Since I was four. I'm nine now, so about five years ago," said Brett Dudenhoeffer, a contestant.
... others are veteran fiddle players and all share a passion for the music, the instrument and the thrill of taking the stage.
"Mainly when I'm up there and I'm on stage and the audience is clapping right behind me," said Douglas Thompson, a contestant.
"I asked for my first fiddle for Christmas when I was four," said Dudenhoeffer. "And nobody else in my family plays, so it was kind of a shock to mom and dad."
But since that Christmas five years ago, we're the ones getting the gift of Dudenhoeffer's talent. He now plays several instruments, but the fiddle is still his favorite.
And whether you're nine or 90, you can't help but tap your toes, marvel at the talent and be glad old time music lives on.
"Ya'll come see us," said Jae.
You may just end up with fiddle fever, too.
The Grand Lake National Fiddle Fest wrapped up Saturday, but organizers will do a Cajun festival on July 3rd in Grove, plus they hold a fiddle camp Labor Day weekend.