One of the youngest contestants to place this year was Maria McArthur, 16, who finished third in the fiddle contest. For her efforts she won a trophy and the E. Wilfer V60 Fiddle represented by the Beautiful Music Violin Shop of Lawrence, KS. McArthur is a home-school student from Tucson, AZ. She has been coming to the Walnut Valley Festival for four years, making it an annual tradition. She said she loves to participate in Andy May’s Acoustic Kids sessions and credits them with helping her to learn how to perform. She said that Winfield has become more like a reunion where she gets to see her friends. She likes the fact that the Walnut Valley Festival has so many contests – not just the traditional bluegrass instruments, but also the autoharp and mountain dulcimer. She plays guitar, banjo and mandolin, and competed in the 2018 banjo competition at Winfield.