Friday, June 13, 2014

Weiser’s Fiddle Contest in North Central Idaho

Fiddling came to Weiser in 1863 when the Logans established a way station here and covered wagon emigrants stopped for rest and recreation. Newspaper files report fiddling contests here from 1914 to WWI. The resurrection of fiddling in Weiser was due to efforts led by Blaine Stubblefield, Chamber of Commerce Secretary from 1948 until his death in December, 1960.

In 1953, the city of Weiser, Idaho began sponsoring an annual contest which has become one of the most formal and prestigious fiddler contests held. It is always held the Third Full week in June and for music enthusiasts, fiddlers, and those that appreciate a good ole’ fiddle competition this event should be on your calendar.

The fiddle contests at Weiser today have very clear rules. Each contestant plays three tunes; one of the tunes must be a hoedown, one must be a waltz, the other is a “tune of choice” (something other than a waltz or hoedown). Some contests are held with less restrictions and include audience participation. A maximum of four minutes is allowed for each fiddler. Contestants are classified into different age groups and judging is based on dance ability, old time style, rhythm, and tone. If a contestant wins the first round they move onto the second/final round or playoff. At Weiser, competing in all of the playoffs to win the championship takes six rounds and eighteen tunes. One change that has happened in the modern era that began in 1990 or 1991 is that most contests have eliminated the separate ladies division, as acknowledgment that today’s women are as competent as the men and capable of competing on an equal basis.
This year there are a couple of exciting things happening: There is a new parade route!  The parade check-in and staging will be at the Weiser High School parking lot and entries will line up along Indianhead Road.  It will  proceed south from its beginning at Weiser Golf Course on N.State Street to Idaho Street, east on Idaho to E. 4th Street, then north on E. 4th to its ending at Weiser Middle School. The organizers recommend you “wear your pioneer garb, break out those cowboy hats and sunbonnets and bring back the Good Old Days!” Also...The National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest & Festival is delighted and excited to announce that radio personality Dallas Wayne will act as your host and emcee for the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night events in 2014!

Once you’ve been to the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest you’ll see why Weiser has been recognized as the “Fiddling Capital Of The World”. Plus you don’t want to miss the other great activities you can experience while in Weiser, Idaho!

For you outdoor enthusiasts

  • World class fishing in the Snake River and the Weiser River.
  • Our very own Weiser Community Pond with graveled paths, firepits, and a fishing dock.  Bring your chairs, s'mores supplies, and Idaho fishing license and you're good to go!  
  • The non-motorized Weiser River Trail starts at the junction of Highway 95 and the Weiser River and runs 85 miles north for your hiking, biking, horseback riding, skiing, jogging, walking, bird watching, picture taking pleasure.  
  • The Weiser Sand Dunes for your four-wheeling enjoyment
  • Indianhead Mountain, and Steck Park to the west, and Hells Canyon National Recreation Area ( to the north just waiting for you to explore.
Enjoy the fiddler contest, the great outdoors, and enjoy a relaxing stay at one of the many lodging options found here: North Central Idaho

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