During its heyday in the 1950s Shelburne’s Fiddefest would draw people and talent from the county and beyond to the small town. “At the end of the festival people would be lining up to buy their tickets for the next year,” says Caroline Mach, who has been helping to organize the festival since she moved to Shelburne and joined the Rotary Club 15 years ago.
Today the festival sees over 3,000 attendees and some of Canada’s top fiddlers. The festivities also include a parade, a Beer Garden, and camping, throughout which the Legion offers 24-hour food services. “People are excited and they’re happy but at the same time it’s a competition so it’s very tense—every time there’s a little mistake the whole audience will gasp.
“Shelburne is known as Fiddleville,” Mach says. “If you talk to anyone about Shelburne they’ll go, ‘Oh, is that where they have that fiddle contest?”