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Bob Wills Fiddle Festival and Contest

Bows Up for Second Round of Bob Wills Fiddle Fabulousness

Second Annual Bob Wills Fiddle Festival & Contest Returns to Greenville, Texas

GREENVILLE, Texas (Aug. 13, 2015) – Bows up, chin down and spirits soaring! The Bob Wills Fiddle Festival & Contest returns for an expanded, second annual celebration that will transform downtown Greenville, Texas into Western swing central from Oct. 15-18, 2015, presented by L-3 Mission Integration.

The 2015 Bob Wills Fiddle Festival & Contest morphs into a four-day extravaganza featuring premier concert performances by Western swing royalty Asleep at the Wheel and country music legend Charley Pride. Naturally, there’s the extensive fiddle contest highlighted by seven divisions and more than $8,500 in cash and prizes.

Here’s a quick rundown of the festival highlights:

  • Oct. 15, 2015: Making of “Still the King” and Tales of the Texas Playboys with Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson and special guests at the Texan Theater
  • Oct. 16, 2015: Asleep at the Wheel with special guests Hot Club of Cowtown at the Greenville Municipal Auditorium, part of the Kenneth Threadgill Concert Series
  • Oct. 17, 2015: Bob Wills Fiddle Contest Preliminary Rounds at the Central Christian Church
  • Oct. 17, 2015: Charley Pride with special guest Leon Rausch and the Western Flyers at the Greenville Municipal Auditorium
  • Oct. 17, 2015: Saturday Night Dance featuring The Carolyn Martin Swing Band at the Emerald Ballroom
  • Oct. 18, 2015: Fiddle Contest Finals & Awards at the Greenville Municipal Auditorium

Tickets for Charley Pride go on sale Aug. 17, 2015 at 10 a.m. Prices are $35-$75. Tickets for Asleep at the Wheel go on sale Aug. 20, 2015 at 10 a.m. Prices are to be determined. Buy tickets via www.showtimeatthegma.com or the GMA box office at 903-457-2994. For more information on the Bob Wills Fiddle Festival & Contest, check out www.bobwillsfiddlefest.com and www.twinfiddleproductions.com.

“We’re so excited to welcome the second annual Bob Wills Fiddle Festival & Contest,” says Carolyn Wills, Bob Wills’ daughter. “Last year’s was magical, and now with an added day, entertainment greats, the fun of downtown Greenville and excellence of the Bob Wills Fiddle Contest, 2015 is prepared to swing.”

The 2014 Bob Wills Fiddle Contest proved to be a rousing success with 65 contestants hailing from 10 states competing in seven divisions – Junior Junior (12 & under), Junior (13-17), Adult (18-59), Senior (60 & up), Accompanist, Bob Wills and Open. Fiddle contest directors Joey and Sherry McKenzie bring decades of award-winning fiddle passion and expertise to the art of bows up, chin down and spirits soaring.

“Bob Wills did so much during his career to further fiddle music and expose people to Western swing music,” says Joey McKenzie. “We want to be the premier event in Greenville to hear some of the greatest musicians in the world. The fiddle contest is a direct connection to Western swing. Bob Wills played in a lot of fiddle contests as a young man. So combining a world-class fiddle contest with a festival honoring Bob Wills is sonic perfection.”

Greenville, Texas continues to honor the immense musical legacy of Bob Wills. The fiddle festival is a complete homage to Wills’ influence. Asleep at the Wheel remains the torch bearer of the Western swing movement. The band can truly be called a modern-day version of Wills’ Texas Playboys. And then you have Charley Pride, not to mention Hot Club of Cowtown, the Western Flyers, Leon Rausch and the Carolyn Martin Swing Band, all purveyors of Wills’ musical spirit.

“Our inaugural festival last year was awesome, exceeding our expectations. The festival will be even bigger this year and folks will want to attend every day of the festival because each will be unique,” says Larry Green, festival chairman. “We are so appreciative of Carolyn Wills, the Wills family and the Bob Wills Heritage Foundation for their faith in Greenville. We had great support last year from our business community, city officials, volunteers and everyone who attended the festival and contest. That level of support is instrumental in allowing us to grow the festival this year and sustain it into the future.”