Smithville, Tennessee -- The 2012 Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival will be held on the square in downtown Smithville on Friday, July 6th and Saturday, July 7th commencing at 9:00 a.m. both days. This well-respected bluegrass festival, celebrating its 41st year, is committed to preserving Appalachian music, dance and craft – a mission that is apparently being accomplished judging from the thousands of spectators that come to the event from every state in the U.S. as well as many visitors from abroad. Over 150 craft booths filled with handmade creations, plus a variety of food vendors, will fill the streets surrounding the courthouse this year.
Featured entertainment will come in the form of bluegrass and Appalachian music and dance competitions on the stage situated on the east side of the square. These performances are broadcast live on public television thanks to WCTE-TV Channel 22 out of Cookeville, Tennessee. Folding chairs are provided for the audience, yet those who plan on staying a while often bring softer seating in the form of lawn or camp chairs. For those just looking to “jam” rather than perform, “shade-tree picking” can be found all around the courthouse lawn. These impromptu sessions are just as much fun as the onstage show and often provide a cooler setting to take in the old-time music.
Recent additions to the Jamboree competition categories are Youth Square Dancing and Bluegrass Fiddle. These new categories will enhance the already comprehensive line-up of events including Old-Time Appalachian Folksinging, Flat Top Guitar, Clogging (Junior and Senior), Buckdancing (Junior and Senior), Dobro Guitar, Mountain and Hammer Dulcimer, Novelty Event, Old-Time Fiddle Band, Autoharp, Gospel Singing (Solo and Group), Country Harmonica, Old-Time Banjo, Mandolin, Fiddle (Junior and Senior), Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Junior and Senior), Bluegrass Banjo, Bluegrass Band, Square Dancing, and the culmination of the festival – the Fiddle-Off. This festival also features a special set of events just for beginners. On Saturday, children aged 0 - 12 compete in Buckdancing, Clogging, Dobro Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Flat Top Guitar, and Fiddle.
Since its beginning in 1972, the old-time Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival has grown into a major event, drawing hundreds of musicians and crafts people, plus the many thousands of spectators from throughout the world. The festival began as a small town event, as a way to celebrate the Independence Holiday just as generations before had done on the Court Square. It continues that tradition today – a throwback to days gone by – paying homage to the music and art of our ancestors, reminding us of the simple pleasures to be had from gathering together and enjoying the pure, unadulterated sound of live Appalachian music.
The energy of these timeless bluegrass tunes can’t be denied as they ring through the streets and bounce off the downtown buildings of Smithville, pop. 4,305. This small southern town is as friendly as it gets and proudly welcomes the visitors that swell its population many times over each July. Everyone is invited to come and experience this unforgettable event. Peruse the wide selection of arts and crafts, grab a barbecue sandwich or a corn dog and an ice cold lemonade, find a seat near the stage, and sit back and enjoy one of the best free shows around...your toes are guaranteed to be tappin’ in no time.