Founder fiddling depends on entries

       Attention, fiddlers: The main deadline is fast approaching for the Founders' Day Fiddle Contest.
       Sponsored by the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) and the Black Rose Acoustic Society, the first-time competition is scheduled as part of the OCCHS's annual Founders Day activities in Bancroft Park Saturday, Aug. 12.
       Entries will be accepted up to the day of the event, but any application received after Tuesday, Aug. 1 will have an additional late fee of $10, contest rules state.
       However, at this point, with only a few entries, OCCHS is thinking of cancelling the contest - a decision is to be made after Aug. 1 - so anyone “fiddling around,” so to speak, may lose out altogether.
       As currently planned, the regular entry fee is $15 for any of the five age categories: senior (60 and up), adult (37-59), young adult (18-36), junior (9-17), and small fry (8 or younger).
       There will be prizes for first, second and third in each division. First gets $40, plus a one-year Black Rose individual membership ($15); second gets $20, plus a membership; and third gets a membership.
       “For younger musicians, it's an opportunity to take part in a contest that's low pressure, not organized to death and mostly fun,” said Ron Thomas, Black Rose board president.
       The setting, in which the OCCHS commemorates the 1859 founding of Colorado City with old-time activities, should be conducive to playing. “Founders Day celebrates a time when people would play on the front porches of their homes, and music was a much bigger part of people's lives than it is now,” he noted.
       Each contestant will be asked to play three pieces: “something fast in 4/4 time,” a waltz and a piece of the player's choice, Thomas said.
       The variety will help the judges gain a sense of what each musician can do. Although fast playing often leaves the strongest impression on listeners, “it's more difficult to play a waltz and make it sound pretty than to play something at 800 mph,” he pointed out.
       Black Rose, a not-for-profit organization, has led the region's acoustic music revival over the past dozen years.
       Founders Day this year will be part of a history-geared weekend, with the OCCHS sponsoring its annual Cemetery Crawl - a society fund-raiser in which people impersonate noteworthy figures who are buried in Fairview Cemetery - Sunday, Aug. 13.
       Applications for the Fiddle Contest can be sent in by mail or online. For more information, call 282-0760, e-mail Thomas at or go to the website at

Westside Pioneer article