Kentucky's 2007 fiddling champion is a 21-year-old woman from Indiana - Olivia Smiley of Greensburg.
Smiley, who scored just ahead of the other two finalists - Ed Carnes, Franklin, Tenn. and Chuck Reeves, Oakman, Ala. - also won the 2005 championship.
The contest, which names the official Kentucky fiddler, was held at Rough River State Park July 20-21.
There were over 67 categories for judges to score, ranging from harmonica, banjo mandolin, flat top guitar, Bluegrass band, dulcimer, jig dancing, and, of course, fiddling. The winners took home a total of $5,355 in prize money.
Competitors traveled from points as close as Leitchfield and as far away as Kuna, Idaho.
The crowd who listened appeared to be down slightly from past years, but those who came enjoyed temperatures in the 80s, low humidity and a breeze - all of it extraordinary for the event.
But weather's more important to the musicians.
Humidity, temperature, barometric pressure, all of it effects the tuning of their instruments. There's a lot of tuning up and practicing songs backstage.
One of the regulars at the festival, Chuck Reeves, a senior fiddler whose been playing for 69 years was back this year.
“I missed last year,” he said, “because I was in the hospital, too sick to get here, but I wouldn't miss this contest for anything.”
Reeves, who has taken the governor's cup at the contest in past years, came in third among the three finalists this year. He was fiddling on the Grand Ole Opry when he was 17.
“The most important thing,” he said, “is playing music and entering competition is just having fun and enjoying it. It's not about winning or losing; it's the music.”
As he took his third place ribbon, Reeves told Emcee Leo Mudd that he'd be back next year.
The song played most at the 2007 contest: “Sally Goodin.” The song played only once at the contest:: “Shavin' a Dead Man” (banjo).