-- The Auburndale Bluegrass Festival got off to a high-spirited start
on Friday evening, March 17. About 1,000 people were gathered at
the beginning, according to Carl Allen, master of ceremonies. The
crowd swelled as the hours danced by and Allen said he thought this
was the largest crowd ever to attend.
the good 'ol bluegrass music heard, there were plenty of food wagons
with everything from cotton candy to hometown-type barbecue.
were crafts to be bought and the Auburndale Police Department was giving
out free balloons and thrilled little people and big people alike with
their radio-control operated miniature police car.
the cloggers clogged and the fiddlers fiddled, there was the ever popular
dunking tank with various people to drown, sponsored by the Florida
Council on Crime and Delinquency.
invited everyone to go get even with Sheriff Crow and a crowd soon
assembled around the tank in the dark of Friday night. Crow warned
people that if anyone dunked him, he'd have them "cuffed and stuffed".
one of his trips coming to from the depths of the tank, Crow said, "The
water's not too bad, I just hate the trip down."
said on Saturday, "I let him (Crow) have it good. I missed the first
ball so far that he laughed at me, so I got him with my second and
third balls real good."
called Auburndale the "Bluegrass Capitol of Florida." It Must be true.
Nearly every three out of four people around seemed to be from out
of town and even out of state.
at Allen all relaxed in his lawn chair, you couldn't tell he was the
action behind all the action for the festival, the 13th Annual Championship
of Bluegrass music. He had time and a story or two for anyone who wanted
to chew the fat with him.
is the nicest and cleanest place to be," Allen said of Auburndale.
I'm getting the best cooperation out of the city. This Bluegrass music
gets in your blood good as dope does and it's a whole sight healthier.
were about 35 bands that performed and two contests -- one for fiddlers
and one for banjo players. Roger Messer, from Auburndale, has Played
the banjo for ten years now and won the banjo competition last year.
His accompanist was a school buddy from Lakeland, Martin Decato.
year, however, Messer was not the winner. Instead, the Prospector's
Bluegrass Band from Okeechobee, ran away with all the awards. They
were first Place in the band competition, and two of their player's
won additionally: Doug Green won the banjo competition and Vincent
Hamilton won the fiddler's competition. The County Line Bluegrass Band
came in second place in the band competition and the Breakwater Bluegrass
Band came in third.
said of Hamilton, "This boy can do it all --- he's magic on the fiddle." He
added, "The judges had a really, tough time this year because all the
bands were keyed up to the very top."
estimated that over the weekend all together, there were between 7,000
and 8,000 people that found themselves stomping their feet in time
to the beat of the best of the best Bluegrass music around.
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