Archived Story

Appalachian Festival celebrating 16 years

Published 12:56am Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Appalachian Festival is a compilation of multiple events offered throughout Raleigh County W.Va., over three days in late August each year.

Now in its 16th year, the festival has expanded to showcase several events and attractions simultaneously giving visitors the opportunity to “see it all” in one stop.

This year from Aug. 24 to 27 you’re invited to head over to Beckley and Raleigh County (http://raleighcountyevents.com) and join them for all of the events and festivities of this year’s Appalachian Festival!

In the beginning, the original mission of the Appalachian Festival was to enhance the annual Appalachian Arts & Crafts Fair by partnering with other businesses and organizations in the area.

Now the Arts & Crafts Fair is now in its 48th year and the mission has continued through the years by adding new events and activities focused on life in Appalachia. Here’s a short list of things to see and do at the fair.

Check out beautiful quilts, stunning art, and crafts lovingly made by over 100 artisans at the Arts & Crafts Fair.

Kids can explore and make a craft at the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia. Take the time to shop the “Best of West Virginia” at Tamarack. View gallery displays of art by local artists at the Cynthia Bickey Art Gallery.

You can sample delicious cuisine at the “Taste of Appalachia” all while enjoying the live music. For this guy it is all about the beans and corn bread. I could care less about all of the other “no cal, no carb” fair foods.

For the history buffs (and the brave at heart) take a thrilling Ghost Tour and explore Beckley’s haunted past. A do not miss is the tour of a once-working Coal Mine at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine.

The coal mine ride is a must experience. It transports you 400 feet underground into the mountains of West Virginia while your guide interprets the life of the miner.

You’ll just have to watch and see what happens when you’re nearing the bottom and all of sudden the lights go out! Not interested in going underground then why not view the “Vintage Wedding Gowns” exhibit displayed the Wildwood House Museum.

Motor over to Beckley’s Crossroads Mall for a Classic Car Show featuring more than 100 classic automobiles. Raleigh County and beyond is a great area to drop the top and navigate through winding mountain roads, green valleys and quaint small villages.

You might catch my Miata on one of these back country roads.

Mother Nature is also on display so you’ll want to visit Grandview National Park to enjoy the views and participate in park ranger’s talks and walks.

The local white water rafting outfitters are technically not part of the festival but the more adventurous types can add on an exhilarating journey on the New or Gauley Rivers.

There’s so much more … craft demonstrations, strolling musicians, and bluegrass bands … all the best of West Virginia’s native talent.

Don’t miss the Appalachian Festival! It’s sure to delight your senses and put a smile on your face. From here it is an easy drive on I-64 East to Charleston then south down the West Virginia Turnpike. I hope to see you there!

Shifting gears back to Lawrence County there is a group of folks working on pulling together resources for a Civil War tribute.

This is going to be a two to three year combination of events, presentations, performances, etc.

We need your help in establishing a database of resources to include: local history, stories, diaries, letters, & documents of relatives (Lawrence County natives & beyond) that served in the war, Civil War re enactors and interpreters both local and far away folks, local Civil War sights and/or else anything deemed relevant and appropriate to the period.

My contacts are Ohio University Southern campus are office phone 740.533.4559 and email call@ohio.edu.

 

Got travel? E-mail Steve Call at the travelprofessor@gmail.com or dial 740.550.9540.

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