Fiddles and Bluegrass fill the air at George Portz’s 37th annual Fiddle Contest

Fiddle Fest 2016

George Portz plays a tune with the 37th Annual Fiddle Contest Grand Champion, 13-year-old Deven Mahale from St. Louis. Mahale won second place at last year’s competition. Past fiddle champions have gone on to play at the Grand Ole Opry. Portz puts on the O’Fallon Fiddle Contest and Bluegrass Show every year in honor of his parents, Kathleen and Harold, who were avid bluegrass fans. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

Fiddle Fest 2016Following the fiddle competition, but prior to the awards, the Friends of Bluegrass played a 45 minute long concert. The Friends of Bluegrass are made up of Portz on fiddle (not pictured) and, from left: Kathie Pohlman on bass, David Dalton on guitar, Dave Montgomery on lead guitar, and Zach Hardesty on banjo. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)