Downtown Fiddle Crawl gains praise

By Jessica Johnson

May 13, 2014

The sidewalks of downtown Mount Airy have a new addition, part of Mount Airy Downtown’s 2014 Public Art Fiddle Crawl — a public art exhibit featuring fiddle sculptures painted by local artists. The fiddle sculptures will be on display through October, when nine of the 12 fiddles will be auctioned.

Locals and visitors are spotted every day, stopping and viewing the fiddle sculptures and taking photos of the fiddles, Main Street Coordinator Lizzie Morrison shared.

Brochures with additional Fiddle Crawl information are available in the visitors center and most of the stores throughout the downtown area. The brochures contain a map of fiddle locations, pictures of each fiddle along with names of the fiddles and the artists, information about the upcoming fiddle crawl auction, and instructions about how to vote for a favorite fiddle.

After viewing the fiddle sculptures, fans can vote for their favorite fiddle at Old North State Winery, for a cost of $1 per vote, with a portion of the proceeds going back to support the artists.

“I’ve heard great feedback so far, with people saying that the fiddles are buzzing downtown. Everyone is talking about them. We have a lot of people coming downtown specifically to see the fiddles,” Morrison shared. “I’ve seen kids walking with their parents and they will run to the next fiddle, saying ‘Look mom, another fiddle.’”

Those discussing the Fiddle Crawl at the recent Downtown Business Association meeting had plenty of positive comments about the public art initiative. Ann Vaughn said the Historic Earle Theatre was packed with people on the night of the Fiddle Crawl Reveal and added that the “interest and enthusiasm generated is amazing.”

Director for Mount Airy Parks and Recreation Catrina Alexander said she has noticed many people “really paying attention to the fiddles,” and said she already was hearing people discussing which fiddle they wanted to bid on. “It’s really a source of pride for Mount Airy. It’s something that is unique, and people love it,” Alexander added.

Morrison also encouraged businesses to add “fiddle-themed specials” like a special dish to a menu, or a group of fiddle-themed items in a store. She said this is a great way to get downtown businesses to interact with fans, by sharing fiddle photos on social media outlets like Facebook, and encourage others to share the photos as well.

The Mount Airy Downtown Promotions Committee is now working on a Fiddle Crawl Scavenger Hunt, with help from local author Laura Wharton. The scavenger hunt is intended for kids, Morrison said, but everyone will enjoy the hunt’s riddles, with participants examining the design details on each fiddle to solve each riddle. More information about the scavenger hunt will be released in the near future.

Those who photograph the fiddle sculptures are encouraged to share them on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets in various ways, including sharing them on the Downtown Mount Airy Facebook page, located at Airy.

Another way to share the photos includes the use of hashtags. Those who post pictures on Twitter and on Facebook can “tag” the photos with #fiddlecrawl and #downtownmountairy. Hashtags are a device used by adding the # symbol in front of a word or group of words (without spaces), which makes it possible to group all messages containing that hashtag. If the hashtag is searched, using Twitter or Facebook (and depending on the user’s privacy settings), all posts with that words or set of words are grouped together. If sharing on Twitter, those who share can also tweet the pictures back to the Mount Airy Downtown Twitter account by adding @MountAiryNC.

If someone adds the appropriate hashtags, Morrison said that on occasion she is searching Twitter and Facebook using the #downtownmountairy and #fiddlecrawl hashtags, in order to share photos others have taken.

Many of the fiddles (nine out of 12) will be auctioned off at Old North State Winery on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m., along with a concert featuring the music of Lacy Green and more. A portion of the auction proceeds will benefit the artists, with another portion going to benefit downtown revitalization efforts. Tickets are on sale now for this event at a cost of $15, available at Old North State Winery or at the Mount Airy Downtown, Inc. office, located at 206 N. Main St., Suite 200.

Morrison said she is happy to provide Fiddle Crawl brochures to organizations or businesses who would like to distribute them, and Fiddle Crawl posters that are available for display. Email Morrison at or call 786-4511 for brochures and/or posters or more information about the Fiddle Crawl. Also visit for more information about the Fiddle Crawl and other downtown events and attractions.

Reach Jessica Johnson at 336-719-1933 and on Twitter @MountAiryJess.