The 36th annual Lyons Fiddle Festival, held at Lyons Borough Park on Sept. 15 from 9 a.m. to 5:3 p.m., opens with a gospel service at 9 a.m. followed by a morning concert series, an afternoon fiddle competition, plus a quilt raffle and Martin guitar raffle.
The morning concert series features performances by guitarist and Lehigh Valley native Craig Thatcher and fiddler Nyke Van Wyk; The Hannah Violet Trio; Jersey Corn Pickers; and Andrew Vogts and Maxwell Brown. Afternoon concert performances between the fiddle competition classes will feature Eric Fisher and Sam Schmidthuber as the Dave Kline Spotlight Artist.
The afternoon fiddle competition features fiddlers in several classes: Fiddle Class 1 competition for contestants ages 12 and under; Fiddle Class 2 for contestants ages 13 to 17; and Fiddle Class 3 for contestants ages 18 and older.
In addition to the on-stage performers, numerous impromptu jam sessions break out throughout the park under the trees or near the playground equipment. Feel free to bring your instrument to join the jam sessions; or bring your chair or blanket to sit in a comfortable spot in the sun or shade to enjoy the beautiful music and park!
The new food vendor for 2019 will be Pop's Malt Shoppe of Kutztown. With offerings of hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream, milkshakes, sodas and a retro 1950s décor in their brick and mortar store, Pop’s will bring their menu to the festival at reasonable prices and offer breakfast options as well as lunch and dinner items and desserts.
Also there will be homemade baked goods and desserts for sale; as well as soda, water and coffee. Pure Wild Tea of Bernville iced mint tea is available to purchase at the festival in a variety of flavors.
Returning this year is the annual quilt raffle, and C.F. Martin guitar raffle offered in conjunction with Meadowood Music in Blandon. The quilt raffle tickets can be purchased at the festival or at Firefly Bookstore in Kutztown. Guitar raffle tickets can be purchased at the festival or at Meadowood Music. You do not have to be present at the festival to win.
The 2019 crafter/vendor area features a variety of items to purchase and will also feature the festival's first Chinese auction featuring items made by crafters. There will also be face painting, a duck pond, bobbing for apples, rock painting, and other activities for families.
The Lyons Fiddle Festival began on June 5, 1983 and has grown to include the musical offerings of more than 770 performers and jammers enjoyed by an estimated 150,000 spectators over the course of its 36 year history. Partnering with local businesses returning as sponsors such as Fleetwood Bank, Haldeman Ford of Kutztown, and television station CWTAP along with new and current committee members, new sponsors, and new ideas, the festival will get better with time.
The Lyons Fiddle Festival is a not-for-profit organization run totally with the help of volunteers. Profits from the festival benefit community activities and help to maintain the Lyons Borough Park for people of all ages who love to use it.
Admission is $5 donation for adults and free admission for children 12 and under. Donations for parking are greatly appreciated and benefit the Kutztown Hobos: Helping Others Before Ourselves and the Lyons Fire Company truck crew.