Community Interest
GAINESVILLE - The City of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, together with the Friends of Nature Parks, is pleased to announce the Cane Boil and the Longleaf Pine Youth Fiddle Contest at Morningside Nature Center on Saturday, Nov. 26 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Join us as we press sugar cane and boil the juice into syrup, while interpreting day-to-day life on an 1870’s Florida farm.

 Traditionally, cane boils were a time for friends and neighbors to gather for work and for play. Honoring that tradition, we invite you to kick up your heels and enjoy the sounds of the Youth Fiddle Contest from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Accomplished local musician Alan Stowell will offer a free Beginner-Level Fiddle Workshop at 2 p.m. Multi-talented musician Jay Gimelli will provide live music throughout the afternoon. For more information on these talented artists visit us on FaceBook ( or at the website below (

 Fiddlers wanted! Complete contest rules and registration forms are available online at Register in advance online at or at the Living History Farm at Morningside Nature Center between 9 to 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26. The Longleaf Pine Fiddle Contest will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. This year, the Youth Fiddle Contest includes three divisions with cash prizes and ribbons for first, second and third place winners in each:

Sprout Division– Beginners to 7 years old
Seedling Division – 8 to 10 years old
Sapling Division – Advanced students or 12 to 18 years old

 Event admission is $2 for adults, $1 for kids age 3-12 and free for children under 3 years. Admission is waived for the contestants, contestants’ immediate family and one accompanist.

 Beginner-Level Fiddle Workshop instructor Alan Stowell also is a very well regarded local musician, having played with Louden Wainright III and collaborated with Maria Muldaur.  He played back in the 70s here in Gainesville with Bernie Leadon, who went on to become a founding member of the Eagles.  He has given many fiddlers their start and has played in Europe, Asia and up and down the eastern seaboard. Alan’s steady gig is teaching various styles of Fiddle, Mandolin, and Guitar. Besides his great commitment to teaching, he performs every Thursday night from 7:00 to 10:00 at a local restaurant, and bar; Farah's on University Avenue, with singer, banjo and guitar player, Cherrill Heaton. Alan also performs down in Orlando, and here in Gainesville, with guitar and mandolin player, Paul McCaskill, and at the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire every year.

 A live performer after the contest is Jay Gimelli, a long-time friend of the folks at Morningside and a great performer on several instruments as well.  Jay won awards at the Florida Old Time Music Championships in 2010, including 1st Place in Appalachian Dulcimer, 2nd Place in Mandolin & 1st Place in Old Time Banjo.  He was the 1st Place Senior Fiddler in 2007 and the number one old time banjo picker in 2006. Learn more about Jay at

 The Morningside Nature Center Living History Farm is located at 3540 East University Ave.
For information please call 352-334-3326 or visit

Syrup will be available for sale at the event if production yields allow.
Come early to be part of the contest—
stay for the fun and the music all day!