Tuesday, August 11, 2015

RIP, Lowell Banjo and Fiddle Contest

Towards the end of July I heard rumors that the long-running Lowell Banjo and Fiddle Contest would not be held this year. Suspicion was compounded by there being nothing on the Lowell NPS website -http://www.nps.gov/lowe/index.htm
So on July 29 I shot an inquiry: "I cannot find any information on your website about this year's banjo and fiddle contest. What are the dates, what are the divisions and how does one apply?"
Here is the reply, just received via email:
"Lupsiewicz, Phil
3:22 PM (31 minutes ago)
to me
The Banjo & Fiddle Contests will not be taking place this year. Many of you are familiar with this as a long-standing event that has traditionally occurred in September at Boarding House Park. There are Park efforts underway to forge new partnerships to bring this event back online in the future.
Thank you.
Phil Lupsiewicz"
It is a shame those entrusted to maintain the event could not do so this year. The costs cannot be that great - Boardinghouse Park is in the public domain, (interpretive) rangers are already on staff. The only additional cost I see would be for a sound system and engineer, and even that is not mandatory, nothing wrong with doing it the old-fashioned way (unplugged).
Does anyone know why the contest died?

2 comments:

Kevin Wilson said...

I suspect the reason for the contest not continuing this year is the fact that the person who originated the contest and kept it running for 35 years retired from the park service last year. They may not have been able to find anyone to continue to operate it. Like you, however, I would hate to see it go.

folkdancechikn said...

Here's a news article, though it was published after your blog post:

http://www.lowellsun.com/todaysheadlines/ci_28698261/better-pluck-next-time-lowells-banjo-amp-fiddle