Best of August in WV

As another wild, wonderful season comes to a close, there’s no better way to soak up the last of that mountain sun than to get out and celebrate our state with friends and family.

Here are 9 ways to send summer out with a bang:

1. West Virginia State Water Festival

July 24-Aug.2

Fall in love with Summers County during this festival in Hinton, a beautiful railroad boomtown. Watch (or participate in!) the crowning of Little Miss Mermaid and Queen Mermaid. Line the historic sidewalks for the fireman’s parade, shop for local fare and wares, light up the night at the Glow Walk or enjoy some live music.

Family race, West Virginia

2. New River Gorge Games

Aug. 6-7

The New River Gorge presents 3 chances to flex your guns and show ‘em what ya got during this competition-filled weekend.

Take your pick of the Thurmond Triathlon, The Fayetteville Town and Country 5K or Captain Thurmond’s Challenge. Each is a different challenge and a new thrill! Enjoy everything from big-sky views to historic streets while running or walking the Fayetteville 5K. The Thurmond Triathlon welcomes beginners (and little ones as young as 7!) to hike, bike and paddle the historic Thurmond area.

More of a go-big-or-go-home type? Enter solo or grab a team to take on the Captain Thurmond’s Challenge, 28.5 miles of the most extreme mountain biking, whitewater and running on the East Coast.

3. West Virginia’s Largest Yardsale

Aug. 5-6

If you love digging through one man’s trash to find your treasure, you’re not going to want to miss this whale of a (yard)sale! For one weekend, the yards of Upshur County and Lewis County become a playground for bargain hunters!

In past years, 100s of sales have lined the beautiful streets of historic Buckhannon, Weston and surrounding towns. The sale is within a 1-hour driving radius, so be sure to soak in all of the countryside views along the way.

Banjo, guitar, and bass players, West Virginia

4. Pickin’ in Parsons Bluegrass Festival

Aug 2-6

If you’re a bluegrass lover, set up camp in Parsons for an entire week of pickin’! This annual bluegrass festival is at Five River Campground, a rolling mountain oasis on the banks of the Shavers Fork River.

Enjoy the sounds of nature accompanied by dozens of bluegrass bands, including IIIrd Tyme Out, The Gibson Brothers and The Grascals.

5. West Virginia State Wildlife Center Living History Encampment

Aug. 6-7

Meet re-enactors from several time periods from pre-Colonial times to the Civil War era at this living history encampment at the West Virginia State Wildlife Center. While you’re there, you can also take a stroll along the wooded walkway to see black bears, otters, bobcats and more!

State Fair of WV in August

6. State Fair of West Virginia

Aug. 12 – 21

We’re not exaggerating when we say the State Fair has something for everybody! We know you don’t have all day, so here’s the short list: alligator sea lion shows, shiny hot rods, harness racing, hypnotists, livestock, lambs and llamas, bull riding, ag-education, live music (including big names Jake Owen, Old Dominion, Travis Tritt and Alabama!), pageants, fried Oreos, local vendors and, of course, dozens of dizzying rides!

 7. SportsFest

Aug. 19-21

SportsFest returns to Charleston with more than 800 athletes competing at venues throughout the city. Can’t-miss excitement includes the Jet Ski Hydro-Turf National Championship, EVP Pro Volleyball, Arden Cogar TimberSports Exhibition, skateboarding competition, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, CrossFit Challenge, Ultimate Frisbee and more.

Then bring the whole family out for the nighttime 5K Glow Run and Walk, where black lights and glow sticks will light up Kanawha Boulevard. (Registration is free for children 6 and younger!) 


8. Brew Skies

Aug. 19-20

There’s absolutely no better way to enjoy a West Virginia brew than with a West Virginia view! Sample more than a dozen state breweries among the breathtakingly beautiful rolling hills of Canaan Valley. This year’s family-friendly, 2-day event will include performances from 23 musical acts, local food and artisan vendors and a newly added homebrew competition.

Bonus: Beer lovers, be sure to also check out Morgantown’s Mountaineer Brewfest, Snowshoe’s Brews, Blues and BBQs, and Huntington’s Rails and Ales fest, which are both also in August.

9. Summersville Lake Lighthouse Festival

Aug. 27

At 122 steps high, West Virginia’s only lighthouse deserves some praise!

Enjoy live music, great food, crafts and classic cars at the 3rd annual lighthouse fest. Tamarack artisans from throughout the state will showcase their skills as Appalachian music fills the atmosphere. Send the kids over to bounce it out with Hillbilly Fun inflatables while you peruse dozens of shiny vintage cars. For you lake lovers, Cabela’s will be teaching fishing techniques and raffling off a kayak package.

Of course, don’t forget to take a tour of the shining star of the day, the Summersville Lake Lighthouse, for just $5!

This post was last updated on March 16, 2022