Chester County Old Fiddlers’ Picnic marks 86th year
On Aug. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Hibernia County Park will be packed with hundreds of musicians and music lovers for the 86th annual Chester County Old Fiddlers’ Picnic.
The Old Fiddlers’ house band, Remington Riders, will take center stage at 10 a.m., leading into a continually changing slate of individuals and groups who perform all day. Visitors can stroll through the grounds and listen to musicians who gather for impromptu tunes in Fiddlers’ Field. In the woods flanking the stage, musicians play traditional tunes using a variety of instruments. Visitors should bring their own seating, but canopies, tents and alcohol are not permitted.
More than 25 vendors will be offering craft items and novelties, as well as food ranging from barbecue and funnel cakes to smoothies. Wagon rides to the 19th-century Hibernia Mansion will be offered throughout the day, and the mansion will be open for tours beginning at 1 p.m. A $3 donation per person is requested.
Instrument demonstrations, beginner jam sessions and children’s activities are also planned.
Despite the changing sites and faces, this reunion of musicians and music lovers has flourished for decades. Known originally as the Chester and Delaware Counties' Old Fiddlers, the event was the idea of S. L. Anderson. The Picnic, coordinated by Christian Sanderson, began at Crystal Springs Park, outside of Parkesburg, and later moved to Lenape Park, south of West Chester. When Lenape Park closed in 1980, Chester County Parks & Recreation offered to sponsor the event at Hibernia County Park.
The park campgrounds must be reserved for both Friday and Saturday night during Old Fiddlers’ weekend. The fee is $15 per night, with a maximum of six people and two tents per site. The person reserving the site must be one of the campers and at least 18 years old.
Hibernia County Park is in Wagontown, four miles north of Coatesville, off the Route 82 exit of the Route 30 Bypass. Call 610-383-3812 or visit www.chesco.org/ccparks for more information.
The rain date is Aug. 10. Parking is $5 per car. Admission is free.