PICKENS — As autumn approaches and the leaves turn their brilliant colors, it signals the time for fiddle music in the mountains.
On Sept. 14-16, vintage fiddle music will fill the hills and hollers around Hagood Mill as we once again host the annual the Old Time Fiddling Convention. Some of the best fiddlers in the Southeast will gather to compete for the title of South Carolina’s State Champion Fiddler.
This traditional contest goes back to the 1920s when Clemson University opened the doors of stately Tillman Hall to the local musicians of the nearby South Carolina Mountains for their music competition.
This year, for the first time, there will be a week-end event at the Mill during the Fiddling Convention. Come out on Friday and jam under the trees, play some Appalachian games (adults and kids), learn how and take a turn at square and contra dancing. And, listen to a concert by Pretty Little Goat Band.
The competition will take place all day Saturday along with a celebration of “Mountain Man” Robert Perry’s life and a nighttime concert. There will be cash prizes for competition in the senior and junior “old time fiddle” categories, and senior and junior “wild cat open” categories as well as senior and junior old-time string band, senior and junior old-time banjo, and senior and junior guitar categories. Fiddling styles other than “traditional old time” are welcome and encouraged to compete for cash prizes during the senior and junior Wildcat (open) competition. While the other categories emphasize “Old Time” music, this category is open to Bluegrass, Swing, Blues, Modern, and Gypsy instrumentation as well.
Contestants can register in person at Hagood Mill or by calling 864-898-2936. Contestants may also register to compete at Hagood Mill on the day of the event or the day before. Junior competitors must register by 9:00 am on the day of the event. Senior competitors must be registered by 11:30 a.m. in order to compete in this year’s competition.
There will be a $10 registration fee for those competing in the Senior and Junior “Old Time Fiddle” competition. There will be a $15 registration fee for those wishing to compete in the Junior and Senior Old-Time string band competition. All other categories will require a $5 registration fee.
More information about the rules, regulations for this competition can be found by visiting WWW.HagoodMillFoundation.org, on our Facebook page, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling Hagood Mill at 864-898-2936.
There will be some beautiful primitive campsites for tent camping, campers, and RVs, with port-a-potties and a central “water station” (to fill water jugs) available. No hookups however. These campsites may be reserved for Friday night and Saturday night for a minimal charge. See our website or call to make reservations.
So come on out and sit a spell. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and set yourself to enjoy lively music and great food on the grounds of the historic old grist mill, which is the central destination for traditional music in the South Carolina Upcountry. The gristmill will be operating and mountain crafts demonstrations will be from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The Hagood Creek Petroglyph Site will be open to the public during this event as well. There will be a $5 general admission fee to the site per person per day. There will be no charge for children 10 and under and no charge for parking.
We can’t wait to see you here!
Hagood Mill historic site is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. all year long. The Mill operates, rain or shine, for a special festival the third Saturday of every month. Hagood Mill is located just three miles north of Pickens off Highway 178 or 5 ½ miles south of Cherokee Foothills Scenic Hwy 11 off Highway 178 at 138 Hagood Mill Road.
For additional information, please contact Hagood Mill at 864-898-2936, send an email to email@example.com or check out our website at www.hagoodmillfoundation.org .
Billy Crawford is the director for the Hagood Mill historic site.