Dumplin' Days slated for April 18

By CONNIE ESHThe Wilson Post

If homemade dumplin’s, fried pies, momma’s sweet tea and tall tales sound good to you then reserve Saturday, April 18 to go to Dumplin’ Days and Storytelling Festival at Fiddlers Grove.

Actually that is only the part of the plans for the day. There will be Southern Gospel music at the church, a historic tour of the Grove, marble games and a corn hole tournament, too. 

The day will start off with a 5K Run at 9 a.m., with registration starting at 8 a.m., Sue Vanatta, president of the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce.

The storytelling workshops also start at 9 a.m., too, with storytellers telling their favorite tales throughout the day on the back porch of the General Store.


From left, Linda Bain, Gwen Scott, Sue Vanatta, Melanie Powell, Deb Hill and Johnie Payton collect up their bowls, spoons and kettles to try some dumplin’s of their own, before planning the Dumplin’ Days and Storytelling Festival.   CONNIE ESH / The Wilson Post

When the storytellers take a break, musicians will play on the porch.

The main Dumplin’ event will be the cook off, which is open to all good cooks, but only one member of a family may participate in each of the two categories, adult and youth, Vanatta said.

While admission to Fiddlers Grove is free, there is a fee of $10 to cook in the contest, which is due on or before April 3. Registration for the cook-off starts at 9 a.m. 

All cooking must be done on site and can’t start until 10 a.m. with finished products to be presented for judging between 11:50 a.m. and noon.

Cooks must provide all of their own equipment and tables, but electricity will be available.

All types of dumplings can be entered. Prizes for the adult category are $100 for first place, $50 for second and $25 for third. The youth prizes are $75, $50 and 25, respectively. For entry forms, contact the Chamber at 444-5503.

The marble games will be led by National Marble Champion Jeff Kimmell, who will demonstrate winning techniques for future marble players, said Gwen Scott, committee member.

There are also plans to bring a marble maker to the event. He will demonstrate how flint marbles, the best kind of marbles, are made. He will also do a presentation about the history of marbles, Scott said.

The event will allow Scouts to qualify for merit badges. The Corn Hole competition also has an entry fee of $20 per person. This event will take place from 1 until 5 p.m., with the chamber providing the targets and the bags for competition.

Participants can bring their own equipment to practice before the event, Vanatta said.

A puppet show about Neddy Jacobs and the early history of Lebanon, provided by Marsha Garrett, is also planned.

To round off the day there will be a walking tour of Fiddlers Grove to meet historical characters starting at 5 p.m. So far a school marm, Uncle Hershel from the early days of Cracker Barrel, Sam Houston, a lady sheriff, General Hatton, a circuit riding preacher, and a millworker are on the agenda.

Fiddlers Grove is at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center/Wilson Count Fairgrounds, Lebanon.

Staff Writer Connie Esh may be contacted at cewrites@wilsonpost.com.