Hollerin' Contest Speaks To Old Way Of Communicating

Sep 13, 2013

Credit Asma Khalid

If you ever wondered what a holler was, head on out to Spiveys Corner in the southeast part of the state on Saturday. 

The 45th annual National Hollerin' Contest begins at 11 a.m. with farm demonstrations and a fifteen team barbecue cook-off.  Organizers say the hollerin' starts around 4 p.m.  Aaron Jackson is chair of the event.  He says the generations-old practice was not about yelling or screaming, but about communicating.

"People really weren't transient.  You're born in the area and you kind of tended to stay there," Jackson explains.

"So you're growing up with your neighbors and they were mostly family or almost like family to you anyway, so most of these farmers and the patriarchs of the family, they had their own distinctive holler, and they kind of knew each other by that sound.  These sounds could travel upwards of a mile to two miles, depending on the weather."

Jackson says interested people can take hollerin' classes at the event.  The contest is the only fundraiser for the Spiveys Corner Volunteer Fire Department.