Festival | Expo | Fair | Exhibit

Festival, Expo, Fair and Exhibit

West Virginia State Fair Starts Thursday

The Free Press WV

Crews with the State Fair of West Virginia are taking extra safety precautions on amusement park rides ahead of Opening Day this Thursday in Greenbrier County following a deadly ride malfunction at the Ohio State Fair last month.

“We do not have the ride where that happened, but they are going to take an extra step and do a little bit more testing on some of the rides that we have here,” said Kelly Collins, CEO of the State Fair of West Virginia.

The Fire Ball ride collapsed on July 26 at the fair in Columbus, Ohio. One person was killed and seven others were injured. The ride moves like a pendulum, spinning about 40 feet above the ground.

On Sunday, the manufacturer of the ride told investigators the accident was caused by “excessive corrosion.” Rust caused a support beam to snap off.

Collins said they don’t want the deadly incident to be the focus of the upcoming fair in West Virginia.

“We want people to focus on having fun and making memories with their friends and family. Safety is of utmost importance to us. Accidents can happen, but if you see something that worries you, report it to the State Fair and we’ll check it out,” she said.

Crews have a three-step safety process they have to follow when checking out rides. Collins said:

      (1) they’re always looking at the equipment when it goes on the truck, when they unload it off the truck and as they’re setting them up,

      (2) an outside inspector comes in to examine each inch of the rides and

      (3) no ride opens unless its approved by the state Division of Labor.

The fair opens at 2 p.m Thursday in Lewisburg. Collins said the family-fun event runs for 10 days from August 10-19.<

“We have a great concert lineup, the usual great food is back and we have free entertainment across the grounds for everybody,” she said.

The 2017 Concert Series opens at 8 p.m. Thursday with Aaron Lewis and special guest Ray Scott. Martina McBride and Josh Turner perform on Friday.

A sold out show is expected Friday, August 18 when Brantley Gilbert takes the stage.

Other concerts include the following artists: Casting Crowns, Clay Walker and John Michael Montgomery, Old Crow Medicine Show, and the Buckin’ B Bull Ride with Steve Moakler, Luke Combs, Jimmy Fortune and Home Free.

Collins said the fair is a big economic driver for the state. Thousands of people are expected to be in Lewisburg, generating a $13.8 million dollar economic impact on the state of West Virginia.

“The hotels are full for the week, people are stopping at gas stations, the sales tax from the vendors and the carnival that goes back into the state and people are getting a chance to see the Greenbrier Valley on their way in and come back for a weekend sometime else in the year,” she said.

Special ticket prices are available throughout the week including the following:

—Discount Day: $5 admission, $20 to ride rides all fay from 2-11 p.m. on Thursday, August 10

—Early Bird Special: $1 admission from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesday August 16

—First Energy’s Magic Monday, August 14

—Senior Citizen’s Day on Tues, August 15

—Military Discount Day on Thurs, August 17

—Children ages 12 and under will once again get in free all day, every day.

This year’s theme is “Start a Tradition.”

“We’re encouraging people to start traditions with your family or friends. It’s such a family event that everybody of all ages can enjoy. It’s a good family fun time,” Collins said.

For a full State Fair schedule, CLICK HERE.

West Virginia State Fair 2016

The Free Press WV

State Fair of West Virginia officials are hoping to bring some relief to Greenbrier County when the event kicks off Friday — just more than seven weeks after devastating flood waters impacted the area.

“We wanted to make sure the state ends the summer on a high note and we hope that we be a bright spot in the summer where some people may have not had the best summer,” said Kelly Collins, CEO of the State Fair. “We need to continue to help and rebuild this community.”

The 10-day Fair, located in Fairlea, announced shortly after the June 23rd flood it will begin as scheduled this year because only minor damages were reported there.

“We were lucky here at the State Fair that we only had some minor damage in a few of our buildings, but a lot of our friends, families and coworkers weren’t so lucky,” she said.

This is the 92nd year for the Fair — an event “built on tradition and agriculture,” Collins said. It runs from August 12-21.

Changes to the Fair this year include a new roller coaster and new ticket prices. Children in fifth grade and under can get in for free this year.

The 2016 Concert Series will open at 8 p.m. on Friday with Jake Owen with special guest Old Dominion and will be followed by one of two firework shows at 10:30 pm. Other concerts include King & County, Kane Brown, Vince Neil of Motley Crue and more.

Several other features include free entertainment such as the Kachunga And The Alligator Show, The Granpa Cratchet Show, Sea Splash, Catherine Hickland the Comedic Hypnotist and Rhinestone Roper. Food, carnival rides and more will be on the Fair grounds.

Fair officials will be accepting flood relief donations throughout the week. The Pride of West Virginia University Marching Band will host a benefit concert on August 20 at 1 p.m., which is free with your paid gate admission.

“We’ll have some folks walking around to collect donations and all those donations are actually going to go back to music programs in the state,” Collins said.

Up to 180,000 people are expected to attend the State Fair this year, Collins said.

“We’re pulling people in from all over,” she said. “The big thing is we want people to know Greenbrier County is still open. We did have devastation and we’re still in the recovery process, but our hotels are open, our stores are open and we need people to continue to visit.”

Fair gates open at 9 a.m. each morning.

For a full State Fair schedule, click HERE.

G-Eye™: WV State Folk Festival Parade 2016

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“Wings of Wonder - Birds of Prey” program featured at 14 West Virginia State Parks in 2016

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SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV - The “Wings of Wonder - Birds of Prey” program series will be featured at 14 state parks in 2016. Ron and Wendy Perrone of Three Rivers Avian Center will present the birds and information about each species. The presentation includes information about the incredible abilities of raptors, their differences, and how birds are connected with their ecosystems.

“We feature the program every year, and every year it is wonderful,“ says Cheryle Boggs, seasonal naturalist at Watoga State Park. “Birds, and particularly raptors, are fascinating.“

Three Rivers Avian Center is scheduled to present “Wings of Wonder - Birds of Prey” at these West Virginia state parks and forests. Location and presentation times are posted on each park’s events website, or call the park for times.

Special summer programs and a variety of daily activities are conducted at West Virginia state parks and are open to the public at no charge. Times vary and should be confirmed with individual parks. For more information about special programs, click on Park Programs at

Why outdoor education works

Three Rivers Avian Center started presenting programs in West Virginia State Parks in 1993. Its popularity and response has been outstanding. “People are genuinely interested in raptors, conservation of birds and visiting a state park and being outdoors,“ says Sissie Summers, programming coordinator for West Virginia State Parks.

“In June 2000, we presented a program at an area that is well known for its great fishing opportunities,“ Center Executive Director Wendy Perrone says.  “Part of the program focused on the effects on wildlife from abandoned tangles of fishing line left hanging in trees, brush and in the water. Some of the injuries seen here are from fishing line entanglements and many have been horrific. A few of the stories and some involving the death of birds were shared with the audience. At the end of the program, as we were talking with visitors and local residents,  a little girl broke away from the crowd and ran over to a nearby tree that was leaning out over the water. She returned, came up to me and triumphantly handed me a piece of tangled fishing line, complete with bobber that had been hanging in the tree. She announced that she and her friends would be collecting fishing line ‘from now on!‘ We still have that bobber in the TRAC van.“

About: Three Rivers Avian Center

Three Rivers Avian Center is a private nonprofit organization dedicated to wild bird conservation and to educating and involving people in ecosystem stewardship.  Founded in 1990, the 103 acre facility is located in the southern portion of the New River Gorge National River, between Sandstone and Hinton in Summers County, West Virginia. Executive Director Wendy Perrone is a graduate of Guilford College and currently serves as the New River Gorge Peregrine Restoration Coordinator, a five-year effort to reestablish peregrine falcon populations in their native southern Appalachian haunts. Education Director Ron Perrone is a graduate of West Virginia University. The Perrones are involved in many interpretative based organizations, wildlife rehabilitation organizations and assist conservation agencies as appropriate.

The public is invited to public tour days at Three Rivers Avian Center, held the first Saturday of each month May – October from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Other tours are scheduled by appointment only. The center is near Bluestone and Pipestem Resort state parks. For more information about Three Rivers Avian Center, call 304.466.4683 or visit

West Virginia State Folk Festival Belle List 2016

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Exhibit about Hatfield-McCoy Feud to Display at United Hospital Center

Bridgeport, WV — The West Virginia Humanities Council traveling exhibit, The Hatfields & McCoys: American Blood Feud, spent much of 2015 touring southern West Virginia. Now people in the North Central West Virginia region will have an opportunity to see the exhibit May 13 through June 24 during its display at United Hospital Center, located on the first floor.

Using text, photographs, maps, illustrations, and quotes, the exhibit of four free standing three-sided kiosks examines the history of the Tug Valley region, origins and events of the feud, as well as its historical and cultural significance including related scholarly books, plays, television shows and products.

The Free Press WV
Pictured left is Denise Steffich, coordinator for the Auxiliary to United Hospital Center,
standing next to the Devil Anse section of the Hatfields & McCoys Exhibit that is on display at UHC now through June 24.
The exhibition is a program of the West Virginia Humanities Council and is brought
to you locally by the Auxiliary to UHC and the Harrison County Historical Society.

The exhibit previewed in January 2015 at the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center. “The Humanities Council has created our traveling exhibits in collaboration with graphic arts students at West Virginia University, so they get first crack at showing them off,” according to Humanities Council program officer Mark Payne.

Since previewing in Morgantown the exhibit has traveled to Williamson, Bramwell, Athens, Matewan, Logan, and two sites in Huntington, as well as Pikeville and Ashland, Kentucky. “Considering the special nature of the story, we had interest from venues in Kentucky and decided to share this one across the state line, which is not something we typically do,” Payne said.

In 2016 the exhibit is moving on to other parts of the state. It has already shown in New Martinsville, Ripley and Parkersburg and after Bridgeport it travels to Morgantown, Petersburg, and Ravenswood. Previous traveling exhibits developed by the Humanities Council about West Virginia statehood and John Henry displayed at 65 different locations in the Mountain State.

The West Virginia Humanities Council’s Hatfields & McCoys traveling exhibit is funded in part by ZMM Architects & Engineers of Charleston. For information about the exhibit while it is in Bridgeport call Denise Steffich, volunteer coordinator with the Auxiliary to United Hospital Center, at 681.342.1640.

Groups interested in bringing the exhibit to their communities should contact Humanities Council program officer Mark Payne at 304.346.8500 or

Strawberry Festival in Upshur County This Saturday

The Free Press WV

BUCKHANNON, WV — The 75th annual Strawberry Festival kicks off in Upshur County this Saturday, May 14.

Festival President Charliena Eubank said the famous festival continues to hold a special place on the hearts of Upshur County residents and people in the surrounding area.

“It really is special to our community as well as the counties around us as well as the entire state of West Virginia,” Eubank said. “It’s one of the few fairs left that actually promotes agriculture.”

Eubank says the Strawberry Festival’s main attraction–strawberries, of course–is a big-time attraction for tourists out-of-state, which is more important than ever to the Festival. When the Buckhannon mainstay began 75 years ago, there were more than 40 strawberry growers in West Virginia, but that number has declined to just 11.

“Really helps to bring people into our community for tourism and just to see what true small town charm is all about,” Eubank said.

Although the Festival officially opens this Saturday with the coronation of the King-elect and a horse carriage parade, the main attraction of the Festival is the Grand Feature Parade on Saturday, May 21. The parade has continually grown over the years–now featured on internet streams and on local television.

“The West Virginia Strawberry Festival has held a special place in the Upshur County community for over 75 years,” she said. “This started out as a one day event. It has blossomed into nine days.”

As with all festivals, Eubank said you can expect to see a lot of familiar faces returning home to partake in the fun.

“You will see past kings, queens, teams, hostesses, princesses, and junior royalty members recognized,” Eubank said.

The Strawberry Festival began in 1936, but was discontinued for five years during World War II.

G-Eye™: Gilmer County CEOS Holiday House

Gilmer County CEOS Holiday House on December 04, 2015

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G-Eye™: 1st Annual Kruiz in Glenville

1st Annual Kruiz-in for kids T-Shirt Design
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G-Eye™: Kruzin for Kids

Kruzin for Kids Party with Car Show by Daniel Smith II’s StateFarm Insurance
Hays City, Glenville, Gilmer County, WV on 10.24.15

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Mary Todd Lincoln portrayal at Canaan Valley Resort State Park July 29, 2015

DAVIS, WV – Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Abraham Lincoln, will be portrayed by JoAnn Peterson of Kingwood in a West Virginia Humanities Council History Alive! program at Canaan Valley Resort State Park Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 7:00 PM. The performance is free and open to the public.                                     

Lincoln’s story mirrors the pain and loss suffered by many Americans as a result of the Civil War. A devoted supporter of her husband Abraham’s political aspirations, she encouraged him in his career. As the First Lady during the war, her southern roots created doubt about her loyalty to the Union and she was viewed as a traitor to the Confederate cause. She endured the death of three of her sons, saw her husband murdered, and was later committed to an insane asylum by her surviving son.

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Lincoln is one of the many available character presentations offered through the West Virginia Humanities Council’s History Alive! program as a means of exploring history by allowing audience interaction with noteworthy historical figures who shaped our history. Historical characterization is the vehicle for this program. Humanities scholars have carefully researched the writings, speeches and biographies of the characters they portray and, whenever possible, use their original words.

The West Virginia Humanities Council is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing educational programs in the humanities for all West Virginians. For 40 years the Council has been providing educational programs in the humanities across the state.

This program is available to both nonprofit and for-profit groups.

For more information, call The West Virginia Humanities Council at 304.346.8500 or visit

West Virginia State Folk Festival

GLENVILLE, WV — The sounds of Appalachian music reverberated through the hills of Glenville this weekend for the 66th State Folk Festival, serving as a beacon for those wanting to take a step back in time.

“The premise of the folk festival is to preserve and educate if possible the Appalachian culture of music, crafts, artisans and things along that line,” Joe Yurkiewicz, one of the volunteers who helps plan the festival said. “If it’s not the oldest of it’s kind in the North American continent, it’s at least the second oldest.”

The festival highlights the music that came to West Virginia from the Welsh, Scottish and English when they originally came to the country and the versions that developed from that origin over the years, which most notably includes bluegrass.

The ability of the festival to preserve the history of the music over the years has drawn the attention of those from the point of origin, according to Yurkiewicz.

“There’s been a resurgence in England and we’ve had some English folks come over because they had to come over here to be able to find the tunes and the words to the music that originated from them.”

The main musical draw, if you ask Yurkiewicz, would be the square dancing.

Hundreds of all ages participate on the elevated dance floor right on Court Street each night as callers orchestrate the moves as the house band plays away.

Due to its popularity, builders have had to extend the dance floor year after year.

“It’s grown by 14 to 16 feet over the last couple years because of the number of people that come to attend the square dance,” Yurkiewicz said. “It seems to be the biggest draw around because it is a nice, floating platform so it doesn’t impact on the dancers’ feet.”

For those that may not be interested in the music or dancing, other activities throughout the festival take a look at life in the earlier years of the Mountain State. Whether it be a craft or other demonstration, visitors can get a hands-on experience.

Keeping with the theme of tradition, the vendors at the festival are typically selected on the grounds that they make what they sell.

However, not all are selling traditional wares, as one element does not seem to go over well.

“It’s hard to sell traditional cooking to the people because it’s normally bland and it’s not what they’re used to,” Yurkiewicz said. “They don’t go for it.”

The festival concluded Sunday morning after a church service and singing, but preparations for the 2016 festival will begin shortly after as volunteers said it’s a year-round process.

~~  Aaron Payne ~~

G-Eye™: Calhoun County Wood Festival 2015

Calhoun County Wood Festival 2015

2015 Pioneer Showcase Winner Announced

GLENVILLE, WV - The winners of the fifth annual Glenville State College Pioneer Showcase Creative Arts and Research Forum have been announced.

The competition, which is judged by GSC faculty, allows full-time GSC students the opportunity to formally present their research and creative arts abstracts.

“This year’s showcase had 40 different presentations in the form of oral talks, posters, and artistic displays. Students from all academic departments participated and judges commented on the high quality of the presentations, which made awarding winners a difficult choice,“ said Dr. Sara Sawyer who serves as both an Associate Professor of Biology and coordinator for the showcase. Sawyer added, “Students who participated had a wonderful opportunity to show their projects and gain experience in presenting. Plus, the Pioneer Showcase allows the campus community to learn about the high quality of work that GSC students do and as well as the diversity of that work.“

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A selection of student winners and their professors at GSC’s Pioneer Showcase
(L-R) Angenay Williams, Dr. Sallie Anglin, Lindsey Acree, Jake Harper, Liza Brenner,
Dr. Rico Gazal, Judith Kennen, Samuel Canfield, Dr. Jong-Hoon Yu, and Nathan Kincaid

Winners in the literary category included first place recipient Jake Harper with his presentation titled ‘Shame: The Driving Force of Hostility and Violence,‘ second place winner Erica Whitney with her ‘Answering the Question of Crime’ presentation, and a tie for third place between Matthew Samples’ ‘Anti-Semitism in Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice’‘ and Lindsey Acree’s ‘Two Antigones.‘

Judith Kennen and Larry Grover took top honors in the science category with their presentation titled, ‘Effects of the Antidepressant Imipramine on Long Term Potentiation (LTP) and Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in the Rat Hippocampus.‘

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Chad Ingram explains his project during GSC’s Pioneer Showcase

Nathan Kincaid, with assistance from Dr. Jong-Hoon Yu, won first place in the miscellaneous presentation category with his discussion on ‘Factors Affecting Fan Misbehavior at Sporting Events.‘

A separate portion of the showcase included a poster session for science projects.

Tia LeMaster, with guidance from Dr. Kevin Evans, took first place with her project on ‘Effect of UV Light on Anti-Markovnikov Hydrobromination.‘

Second place went to the group comprised of Samuel Canfield, Jennifer Rudger, and Josh Lynn, advised by Dr. Ross Conover, on ‘Pocket Gopher Activity Across Elevational Gradients.‘

Finally, Chad Ingram and Dr. Rico Gazal took third place with the presentation on ‘The Effect of Precipitation on Diameter Growth of Quercus Alba and Quercus Prinus.‘

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Tia LeMaster with her project at the Pioneer Showcase poster session

The art display session was won by Angenay Williams with her piece titled, ‘American Dream.‘

For more information about the GSC Pioneer Showcase, contact Sawyer at Sara.Sawyer or 304.462.6303.

WV Division of Culture and History Seeking Entries for the West Virginia Juried Exhibition 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH) is announcing a call for entries for its 19th biennial West Virginia Juried Exhibition. The show will be on display at TAMARACK: The Best of West Virginia in Beckley. Since 1979, the exhibition has celebrated the exceptional talents and creativity of Mountain State artists.

Submissions for the exhibit in the form of slides or digital images on CD will be accepted from Monday, June 22 through Friday, August 07. Artists may submit two pieces for the exhibition with a limit of three slides/digital images per entry. Entry forms and properly identified slides/images must be accompanied by a non-refundable fee of $20 per piece. Make check payable to West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Slides/digital images can be mailed to WVDCH, West Virginia Juried Exhibition (WVJE) 2015, The Culture Center, 1900 Kanawha Blvd., E., Charleston, WV 25305-0300, or can be hand-delivered to the Culture Center at the State Capitol Complex.

Eligible entries include works created in the past two years in the areas of painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, photography, mixed media and crafts.

Entrants must be over the age of 18 and must be residents of, and maintain a permanent residence in, West Virginia. Entrants also must complete a WVDCH Artists’ Register form and submit six slides or digital images representative of current work for the file at the division. The images submitted for the Artists’ Register are not used in jurying entries into the exhibition.

A prospectus for the exhibit is available online at

The division will present up to $33,000 in awards for the exhibition. The awards are made available through the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and the WVDCH through funds appropriated by the West Virginia Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. Awards may include three $5,000 Governor’s Awards (purchase awards), seven $2,000 Awards of Excellence (purchase awards) and eight $500 Merit Awards (non-purchase awards). Works receiving Purchase Awards become part of the West Virginia State Museum’s Permanent Collection of Art.

“At the agency, we are passionate about our commitment to promoting arts throughout West Virginia,” said Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith. “To further this goal, the Commission on the Arts and the division decided to have the exhibition travel to Beckley this year, sharing the best in art with yet another community in West Virginia.” In 2013, the exhibition was installed at the Dunn Building in Martinsville. Prior to that it was in Wheeling, Huntington and Parkersburg.

The exhibit will open at Tamarack with an awards ceremony and reception at 4 PM, Sunday, November 08, 2015, and remain on display through February 21, 2016. The exhibit showcases the work of state artists and craftspeople and provides the public with a comprehensive view of art and craft activities in the state.

For more information, contact Cailin Howe, exhibits coordinator for the division, at 304.558.0220 x128.

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