Russell Burress from Capitan performs at the Fiddle and Griddle Festival on Saturday in Roswell. (Courtesy Photo)
The third annual Fiddle and Griddle brought musicians from across the country to Roswell over the weekend to compete for their share of $20,000 in prize money.
“Many of them are amazed at our prize money,” said Dusty Huckabee, director of MainStreet Roswell, the organization that staged the event. “They say they’ll go to contests and typically the top prize is $100.”
The Roswell festival also attracts national champion fiddle players, Huckabee said. In fact, the judges for this year’s event included grand master fiddle champion Jacie Sites, current national fiddling champion.
“Sunday, I was sitting at a table in Denny’s with five national champions,” Huckabee said with a laugh. “This event has really taken off.”
The festival has steadily grown over the past few years, said Peggy Seskey, one of the festival organizers.
“We have some from Idaho and Colorado that we didn’t have last year,” she said. “We have a lot of Texas fiddlers. Registrations are up on both the fiddle and griddle sides.”
The fiddle competition invites the best fiddle players in the country to entertain the audience with their musical skills while they compete for $20,000 in available prize money.
Huckabee said fiddlers from Oregon, Arkansas, Texas and many other states were in town for the competition.
“They have to come a long way to get here, and they spend three or four days with us,” Huckabee said. “That is good, because they spend money here and then they move along.”
The griddle competition began on Saturday morning, with the BBQ teams cooking their best meals for a chance to win $8,000 in prize money.
The grillers spent all day making their best chicken, pork ribs, beef brisket and side dishes.
“This was our third year to hold the Fiddle and Griddle, and it is gaining speed,” Huckabee said. “We’ve come a long way to get to this point.”