Ready to strum? It’s your turn

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 18, 2008

VIDALIA — Get out the fiddle, dulcimer and banjo, and get ready to chow down — the fourth annual Vittles and Fiddles bluegrass festival will be this weekend at the Vidalia Amphitheater.

The festival will unofficially begin at 6 tonight with a free jam session in which the public will be allowed to participate.

“Whoever wants to get up there and play can,” Vidalia Fire Chief Jack Langston said.

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The Vidalia Fire Department sponsors the festival, which includes a showcase of local bluegrass talent and a gumbo cook-off, to raise funds for their training facility.

The facility, located on Logan Sewell Road, currently has a burn building and a small classroom on the site, Vidalia Fire Chief Jack Langston said.

In the future, the department hopes to build a drill tower, a confined space rescue area and a designated area for vehicle extrication, he said.

Bands scheduled for the festival Saturday include Flatland-Rush, Sandy Hill, McCall Creek and the Harrigills, and at 7 p.m. two-time bluegrass vocalist Alicia Nugent will perform.

The festival begins in earnest at 11 a.m. Saturday, with an all-day admission price of $5.

No admission will be charged for children younger than 10.

Entrants in the gumbo cook-off will have a $20 entry fee, as well as a $5 fee for 110V and $10 for 220V hook-ups.

The cook-off begins at 7 a.m. Saturday.

Gumbo tasters’ kits will be available for purchase, and the contest will award first, second and third place awards for gumbo, as well as a people’s choice award.

No alcohol will be permitted on the festival grounds.

For more information, contact the Vidalia Fire Department at 318-336-6262.