54th National Old Time Fiddlers Contest and Festival brings economic boost to Weiser

Posted at 10:20 PM, Jun 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-24 00:20:13-04

While the devil may have gone down to Georgia, the fiddlers went to Weiser. The 54th National Old Time Fiddlers Contest and Festival is playing their tunes.

"I like to describe it as Christmas in June honestly," said Makaela Shippy who's competing in the contest. "I get more excited about this than actual Christmas." 

The 18-year-old from Caldwell is just of the 180 musicians competing this year. She's been playing the fiddle since she was four and competing in Weiser since the age of five.

"The best I've ever finished is 8th place here, so hopefully I can do better this year," said Shippy.

While the musicians are scored on rhythm, tone and other factors, Weiser hopes to dance its way out of  hard times. Crippling storms caused many roofs in the city to collapse this past winter.

"To see the clear blue skies and the warm weather and the nice breeze blowing is welcome relief to all after the snow and blow and everything else we had over the winter time," said Patrick Nauman, a local business owner who is on the board of the Weiser Chamber of Commerce.

While all the winners of the contest will not be decided until Saturday night. The city hopes to win some extra cash from musicians and music lovers alike.

"It's a nice boon to the economy. The latest and greatest estimates shows that it makes about a 2 to 3 million dollar investment into the economy over the course of the week it's going on," explained Nauman.

The Grand National contest kicks off Saturday night at Weiser High School. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.