Despite changing sites and faces, this reunion of friends and music lovers has flourished for decades. Known originally as the "Chester and Delaware Counties' Old Fiddlers’," it was the idea of Mr. SL Anderson. The Picnic, coordinated by Christian Sanderson began at Crystal Springs Park in Parkesburg and later moved to Lenape Park near West Chester. When Lenape Park closed in 1980, Chester County Parks and Recreation offered to sponsor the Picnic at Hibernia County Park.
Mr. Sanderson’s fascination with history and “living records” culminated into a collection housed at the Christian C. Sanderson Museum in Chadds Ford, PA. Museum representatives will be on site displaying various items.
At 10 a.m., Remington Riders will take center stage, playing hard driving bluegrass with softer old country tunes and bold instrumentals.
The opening act leads into a continually changing slate of individuals and groups, who have registered to perform throughout the day. Register as a group (2 or more) or as an individual to play on the Fiddlers main stage between 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Solo acts are allotted 10 minutes. Groups may have up to 20 minutes
Stage registration opens at 9am
Vendors and Activities
Enjoy the stage show or stroll through the event grounds. A highlight of the day is the jamming and singing taking place throughout the venue. Visitors can stroll through the event grounds and listen to the blend of music heard amidst Fiddlers’ Field.
In the woodlands flanking the stage, musicians play tunes using a variety of instruments such as guitars, banjos and mandolins, and perform styles such as bluegrass, old-time and gospel.
Visit over 30 vendors featuring a variety of crafts, foods and novelties. Grab lunch from menus including BBQ, Italian ice, empanadas, chicken wraps, smoothies, fries, funnel cakes, kettle corn and more.
Children and those new to string instruments are encouraged to come learn by observing and talking to the musicians in this relaxed atmosphere. Instrument demonstrations, beginner jam sessions, and children’s activities are also planned.
Lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged. Tents and canopies are not permitted in Fiddlers Field. Alcohol is prohibited. Pets are welcome but must be on a six-foot lead.
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM - Fiddle Demonstration
Geared toward beginners. Get pointers and see techniques. Great opportunity for children and those new to string instruments to observe and talk to the musicians.
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM - Beginners' Jam Session
Geared toward those learning the basics. Play some favorite tunes. Stop by and join in anytime!
1 PM - 4 PM - Hibernia Mansion Tours
Take a wagon shuttle or enjoy a walk along park roads to see Hibernia Mansion. Guided tours of the 19th century Ironmasters home will be available at 1 PM, 2 PM, 3 PM and 4 PM. $3/person donation requested. Shuttles will leave the event area at 12:45 PM, 1:45 PM, 2:45 PM and 3:45 PM.
Don't forget your 89th annual Old Fiddlers T-shirt and hat! Shirt sizes are available in youth large - adult 2XL.
New this year - picnic totes!
All stage performers will receive a 2017 commemorative Chester County Old Fiddlers' ribbon.
Camping at Hibernia County Park is usually first come, first served. However, during Old Fiddlers' weekend, camp sites must be reserved. Call 610-383-3812 to make a reservation.
Reservations must be for both Friday and Saturday nights. The fee is $15 per night with a maximum of six people and two tents per site. The person making the reservation must be one of the campers and at least 18 years of age.