31st Annual Lyons Fiddle Festival features contest, entertainment and jamming Sept. 21

Scott Weldon- Berks-Mont Newspapers archive Fiddle fun at the 2013 Lyons Fiddle Festival.
Scott Weldon- Berks-Mont Newspapers archive Fiddle fun at the 2013 Lyons Fiddle Festival.

The Lyons Fiddle Festival every year draws big crowds to Lyons Community Park, and this year the festival committee anticipates the same big turnout.

“The festival is expected to have about 5,000 spectators, 50 fiddle contestants from ages 4 to 84, amazing line up of on stage entertainment as well as several hundred jammers throughout the park,” said festival treasurer Georgianne Haring, who is one of the festival consultants.

The 31st annual Lyons Fiddle Festival will be held at the Lyons Community Park on Sunday, Sept. 21. Rain date is Sept. 28.

Lyons resident Arlan Schwoyer started the first fiddle festival on June 5, 1983 encouraging fiddle players of all ages to take the stage. There was jamming, food, fiddle contest and entertainment. In 2006 he and Donna Schwoyer informed the borough they could no longer produce the event, according to http://www.lyonsfiddlefest.com/History.html.

The Lyons Fiddle Festival Committee now organizes this volunteer community event.

“The festival committee is composed of nine dedicated volunteers who make this all possible,” Haring said. “Our goal is to encourage music education and appreciation to young people as well as preserve and present traditions that are wholesome, engaging and of enduring values.”

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the festival offers Pa Dutch home cooking, pig roast, iron kettle soups, gospel services, craft and jamming areas and entertainment as well as a fiddle contest, said Haring.

“My favorite part is watching the children with stars in their eyes and hope in their hearts take the stage and give their all playing music that will touch your very soul,” said Haring.

Spectators will also be entertained by a feature act.

“This is the first in the history of the festival that we will feature an act directly from Nashville, Tennessee, The Roys, whose song ‘No More Lonely’ is currently No. 8 on the National Bluegrass Billboard,” she said.

When asked how the festival benefits the community, Haring responded, “While maintaining the musical needs and enrichment of our community, the festival also brings the community together. The Lyons Park receives no state or county support - all park maintenance, updates and community events are entirely funded by the festival.”

Haring also noted that the late Senator Mike O’Pake declared Lyons “The Fiddle Festival Capitol of Pa.”

“We are so lucky to have this Berks County Jewel right in our back yard,” said Haring.

The 31st annual Lyons Fiddle Festival will be held at the Lyons Community Park on Sunday, Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Rain date is Sept. 28.

Park at the Lyons Fire Co. The donation for parking, suggested donation is $3, benefits the Lyons Fire Co. and the Kutztown Hobos. Parking is handicapped accessible and shuttle bus service is available.

For more information, visit http://www.lyonsfiddlefest.com.

About the Author

Lisa Mitchell

Lisa Mitchell is the editor of The Kutztown Patriot and Managing Editor of Berks-Mont Newspapers. Reach the author at lmitchell@berksmontnews.com or follow Lisa on Twitter: @kutztownpatriot.