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Kimball, Minnesota
August 5, 2010     Tri-County News
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August 5, 2010

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How About A Guitar On A Stick? Championships At The State Fair Every year at the end of the summer Minnesotans have a habit of heading to the Minnesota State Fair. Among the "deep-fried pickles" and "pork chops on a stick" you'll find the Heritage Square Stage, where the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association (MBOTMA) will host the 8th annual Minnesota Flatpicking Guitar & Duet Champion- ships. This year the Championships will be more-exciting than ever with the announcement of even bigger prizes than last year. For the Duet Championship, Jim Tordoff of has once again offered not one but a pair of "Baby Taylor" travel guitars. These three-quar- ter scale travel guitars come in padded gig bags that make them perfect for hit- ting the road - they even fit in most air- line overhead compartments! For the Flatpicking Guitar Championship, David Vincent of David Vincent Guitars is again donating one of his fine guitars. In fact, he plans to bring several that the winner can select from (during the festival you can see these grand prizes on display at the David Vincent Guitars & Mandolins booth in the marketplace). In addition to these fine instruments, the cash level of the flatpicking contest have been greatly increased, with first place going from $200 to $600 and the other places increased similarly. There are two days of competition. On Friday, September 3rd, MBOTMA presents the Minnesota Duet Championship. In the preliminary round, up to twenty duets perform two selections in the old-time, bluegrass, country, or western swing style using one or two acoustic instru- ments and two voices. Three professional judges will listen to the performances in front of the stage, where they can see the contestants. In the championship round, the top five duets perform one song each. All of the top five win cash prizes and trophies, and the highest Guitar Rodeo The area's Hometown Newspaper for more than 100 years! Highway 23 Cold Spring 320-685-8621 ranked duet will take home the Grand Prize "Baby Taylors" as well. The Minnesota Flatpicking Guitar Championship takes place on Saturday, September 4th. In this contest, the judges are sequestered back- stage and can't see who is com- peting. In the pre- liminary round each contestant plays two instru- mental numbers on the six-string guitar in the tradi- tional fiddle tune or bluegrass style. In the champi- onship round, the top five guitarists go on to play two additional tunes. At the end of the day, cash prizes and trophies are awarded in youth, adult, and senior age divisions and the Flatpicking Guitar Champions are announced. Anyone can enter either of the con- tests (or both!). Registration is on a first- come first-serve basis and is limited to the first twenty who sign up. Happily, in all our years we have enjoyed a wide range of very professional performers who have brought great music to the stage whether or not they were awarded a prize. Although we don't hold audi- tions, there is always to be enough talent to go around every year. And if you don't want to be on stage yourself, we hope you'll come out to the fair to cheer on the contestants! Registration for either Championship is only $35, which includes State Fair Gate Passes for the contestants/accompanists and contest T- Shirts. Stop by David Vincent's booth at the Festival for entry forms. You'll also find full entry information at or call 800-635-3037 and ask that a contest entry brochure be mailed to you. If You Have Special Accessibility Needs If you have special accessibility needs, please contact us ahead so we can prepare to meet them. We will do whatever we can to assist you. We have handicap parking and camping avail- able. So please call and ask for a copy of our complete accessibility policies, to register your handicap vehicle, and to make other special arrangements. PAGE 32