It may not be the biggest festival in Texas. It may not even be the most well attended. But there's no question the annual Texas State Championship Fiddling Contest has the biggest hoe-down of them all.
For one weekend each year (April 22-23 this year) fiddlers from across Texas and beyond string up their fiddles, tighten their bows, and head down to Hallettsville to carry on the age old tradition of naming the best fiddler in the Lone Star State.
From stunning solo performances to full size bands featuring - you guessed it - the fiddle player, there's plenty of non-stop music to enjoy from performers of all ages.
Hallettsville, in Lavaca County just south of Schulenburg, has deep community roots reaching back to the early days of the Texas Republic. In the 1850s, many German and Czechs began to settle and established successful farming operations. Because of this heritage, Hallettsville is known far and wide for its quality sausage. That would explain why the Texas State Championship Sausage Cook Off and Jackpot BBQ Contest is a perfect companion event to the fiddling contest. In fact, when the smell of fresh smoked sausage reaches the milling crowd, attention can quickly turn to the food.
One of the many highlights of the event is the induction of new fiddlers into the Texas Fiddler's Hall of Fame. Past inductees have included Johnny Gimble (pictured above), Red Steeley, Bill Kingand Velda Ross Fryer.
The spotlight of the four-day weekend is, of course, the fiddling contest in which the best fiddlers from around Texas (and beyond) vie for the title. as best of the best. Prize money is offered to winner in several divisions. Saturday's lineup includes the Freshman and Senior divisions, a guitar-picking contest, the Gone To Texas contest (for out-of-state contestants), and the Jackpot contest where fiddlers draw a tune from a hat. Sunday is the big battle for the overall state title.
In addition to great fiddling and fabulous food there is an arts & crafts fair and huge carnival that promises to keep everyone in the family entertained.
For the full schedule and entertainment line up, visit the TSCFC Web site.