By Jamie McHan
The first ever Billy Joe Box Fiddle Contest took place at one o’clock during The Pine Tree Music Festival. The contest was a huge success and proved to be a crowd pleaser. Contestants from all areas and ages came out to participate in the event.
Stacy Elkins of Starkville took 1st place in the Adult Division with her Lost Indian hoedown and Ashokan Farewell waltz. Donna Switzer of Starkville won 2nd place playing the Greenback Dolly hoedown and Roscoe’s Waltz. 3rd place of the adult division went to Wayne Carter of Aberdeen. He played Rag Time Annie and Faded Love.
In the Junior division, 17 year old Laura Claire Moore of Houston took first place. Second place went to 13 year old Sophia Seltzer-Hill of Starkville. The Judges Choice plaque was awarded to Vic Zitta, who came all the way down from Virginia.
The Judges were Robert Box and Alan Sibley of Choctaw County, and Oklahoma native, Temperance Babcock. Awards were presented by Faye Box, Teresa Shumaker, and Mark Box (wife and children of the late Billy Joe Box). The Spokesmen proudly sponsored the fiddle contest.
First place winners received a large, custom made Fiddle Plague and $100. Second place winners won $75, and Third place won $25.
“Thank you to all who came out and supported the contest. We were so excited to see such a large crowd. It really meant a lot to the family” states Jamie McHan, granddaughter of the late Billy Joe Box and member of the festival entertainment committee. “We are hoping for bigger and better in the years to come”.