Mountain City, TN

The Mountain City Fiddlers’ Convention: Tradition and Music in Northeast Tennessee

John M. Dabbs

Mountain City, Tenn. - In the heart of Mountain City, Tennessee, a joyous symphony of fiddles will resonate once more as the Mountain City Fiddlers’ Convention makes its grand return. The annual tradition, set for September 2, 2023, comes back to life after a three-year hiatus. Staged at the iconic Heritage Hall, where it all began in 1925, this event promises to be an unforgettable celebration of music, tradition, and community spirit.

Local bluegrass hero, Kody Norris, steps up as the host for this year's event. Norris, known for his charismatic stage presence and soulful performances, has fond memories of the convention growing up in Mountain City.

“Growing up in Mountain City, the fiddlers’ convention has always held a special place in my heart. Some of the greatest fiddlers in history got their start right here. Mary Rachel and I never dreamed we would be hosting this event but are excited to breathe some new life into this Northeast Tennessee treasure,” stated Norris.

The Mountain City Fiddlers’ Convention has a rich history of promoting the art of fiddling and bolstering the local economy. According to data from the National Endowment for the Arts, in 2019, cultural events like this contributed over $877.8 billion, or 4.5 percent, to the United State's total gross domestic product. Given the economic benefit and cultural importance, local authorities and organizations like the Johnson County Tourism Office and the Johnson County Center for the Arts have sponsored this year’s convention, underscoring their commitment to heritage and arts.

This year's convention promises a diverse and competitive roster of categories, harking back to previous years and introducing new ones. The much-anticipated Fiddle Champion category winner will take home a coveted handcrafted fiddle by renowned bluegrass fiddler Jason Barie. This unique trophy adds a charming touch to the conventional cash prize, reflecting the heartfelt spirit of the convention.

Headlining the convention's grand finale will be The Little Roy and Lizzy Show from Lincolnton, Georgia. With a career spanning over seven decades, this world-renowned duo is synonymous with bluegrass, old-time, country, and gospel music. Many will remember Little Roy from the world-famous Lewis Family, adding another layer of anticipation to the closing act.

Amid the excitement, the convention has also embraced the digital era, launching a brand-new website ( to keep fans and competitors updated about the competition and weekend events.

A report by the National Association for Music Education suggests that events like the Mountain City Fiddlers’ Convention substantially impact local communities. They can stimulate creativity, foster unity, and act as a platform to showcase local talent. Therefore, the convention's return is more than just a music event; it is a testament to the resilience of Mountain City and its passionate embrace of culture and tradition.

With the convention being organized in conjunction with the perennial Long Journey Home, visitors will have a rare chance to enjoy a diverse mix of music and art. Together, these events further underline Mountain City as a hub of culture, tradition, and creativity in Northeast Tennessee.

As the countdown begins for this monumental return, Norris and his team are ready to welcome fans, competitors, and music lovers. The 2023 Mountain City Fiddlers’ Convention offers a unique blend of rich tradition, vibrant competition, and an unparalleled celebration of community spirit that will resonate throughout Mountain City and beyond.

For more information, please contact Mary Rachel Norris at 423-430-0792 or Sheila Caldwell at 423-727-9696. Stay tuned for updates via the Mountain City Fiddlers’ Convention website or email updates.

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John is An outdoor enthusiast passionate about travel and adventure, a consultant, author, and journalist.

Bristol, TN

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