2014-04-10 / Crow Wing Currents

Pillager’s 30th Annual Fiddler’s Contest draws a crowd

By Dawn Timbs
Staples World reporter


Saturday night dance Neil Wolvert (left) of Brainerd and Marlene Lindeman of Pillager decided to dance while the musicians jammed at the recent Fiddler’s Contest in Pillager. (Staples World photo by Dawn Timbs) Saturday night dance Neil Wolvert (left) of Brainerd and Marlene Lindeman of Pillager decided to dance while the musicians jammed at the recent Fiddler’s Contest in Pillager. (Staples World photo by Dawn Timbs) Thirteen fiddlers rosined up their bows to compete for cash prizes at the 30th Annual Fiddler’s Contest in Pillager April 5.

Sponsored by the Pillager Fair Board, the event is the group’s largest fundraising event each year. All proceeds go toward upkeep at the Pillager Fairgrounds. At least 300 people were in attendance at the recent contest.

Dave Anderson once again served as emcee; and a number of prizes were given away during ticket drawings throughout the course of the evening.

Fiddlers ranged in age from pre-teen to 90 years and hailed from a variety of Minnesota towns. Each played two songs as part of the competition; and while the judges were making their decisions, participated in a ‘group jam.’ A number of classic fiddle tunes were played during the contest, including “Golden Anniversary Waltz,” “Wise Old Hen,” “Turkey in the Straw” and “Tennessee Waltz.”


Jam session While the judges were making their decisions following the fiddler’s contest in Pillager April 5, the contestants joined together on stage for a jam session. Pictured from left are Maria Mathison (the youngest contestant) and her brother Devin Mathison, both of Foreston; and Per Ostigaard (the oldest contestant) of Hoffman. (Staples World photos by Dawn Timbs) Jam session While the judges were making their decisions following the fiddler’s contest in Pillager April 5, the contestants joined together on stage for a jam session. Pictured from left are Maria Mathison (the youngest contestant) and her brother Devin Mathison, both of Foreston; and Per Ostigaard (the oldest contestant) of Hoffman. (Staples World photos by Dawn Timbs) Listed below are this year’s winning fiddlers: o Age seven - 13: Maria Mathison, Forestson, 1st. o Age 14 - 19: Devin Mathison, Foreston, 1st; Molly Trumble, Alexandria, 2nd; Abigale Mathison, Foreston, 3rd; Amanda Trumble, Alexandria, 4th. o Age 20 - 35: Amanda Nygard, Georgetown, 1st. o Age 36 - 63: Lacie Philippi, Brainerd, 1st and Fiddler of the Year; Harold “Butch” Hines, Pillager, 2nd; Herb Daigle, Fort Ripley, 3rd. o Age 64 - 74: Don Schuck, Paynesville, 1st. o Age 75-plus: Gilmore Lee, Maple Plain, 1st; Bill Amundson, Wadena, 2nd; Per Ostigaard, Hoffman, 3rd.



Practicing at Up North Cafe A few musicians gathered at the Up North Cafe in Pillager prior to the town’s annual fiddler’s contest, practicing a few selections as well as entertaining the customers and staff. Pictured above, from left, are Don Schuck, Paynesville; Harold (Butch) Hines, Pillager; Lloyd LaPlant, Grand Rapids; Gilmore Lee, Maple Plain; and eight-year-old Adryann Helland of Brainerd, granddaughter of the restaurant’s owner, Darlene Helland. Practicing at Up North Cafe A few musicians gathered at the Up North Cafe in Pillager prior to the town’s annual fiddler’s contest, practicing a few selections as well as entertaining the customers and staff. Pictured above, from left, are Don Schuck, Paynesville; Harold (Butch) Hines, Pillager; Lloyd LaPlant, Grand Rapids; Gilmore Lee, Maple Plain; and eight-year-old Adryann Helland of Brainerd, granddaughter of the restaurant’s owner, Darlene Helland.

Emcee Dave Anderson once again served as emcee at the Fiddler’s Contest in Pillager April 5. Emcee Dave Anderson once again served as emcee at the Fiddler’s Contest in Pillager April 5.

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