Best of May in WV

It’s finally May, and the Mountain State is celebrating in style with a whole bunch of outdoor events.

The sun is shining upon our rolling green hills and there’s plenty to do, so get outside and enjoy:

1. Rendezvous on the River

May 4-7, Blennerhassett Island, Parkersburg

Step back in time as reenactors show you how things were done in the Mountain State more than 150 years ago. Mountain men and women will sport authentic buckskins and other period clothing, shoulder muskets and cook over open fires.

Enjoy the sternwheeler ride to and from the island, and while you’re there, take in the forest’s beauty with a horse-drawn carriage ride or a picnic. Don’t forget to tour the storied Blennerhassett Mansion and learn why their fairytale was very short-lived.

2. Wildflower Pilgrimage

May 5-8, Blackwater Falls State Park, Davis

This weekend event celebrates the arrival of wildflowers in higher elevations of our budding state. Blackwater Falls State Park is the starting point for trips into other gorgeous nearby landscapes, like Dolly Sods, Canaan Valley and Seneca Rocks.

Join hundreds of other nature lovers and a crew of experts to discover green fields speckled with vibrant Virginia bluebells at the Fernow Experimental Forest, and if you’re really lucky, wild bleeding hearts atop the newly green ridges of Dolly Sods.

3. WV Strawberry Festival

May 14-22, Buckhannon

Tons of fun-filled, strawberry-centric activities are packed into this 8-day festival. Compete in the “Strawberry Blonde” contest to see if your hair color makes the cut, shove your face in some strawberry pie for the fastest time, or get out your scorecards for the Sweetest Berry Competition.

If strawberries aren’t your favorite, there’s still plenty to do, including carnival rides, a car show, Irish Road Bowling and Strawberry Idol (you know, like American Idol).

4. DogFest

May 14-15, Shepherdstown

If you’re a dog lover, you’re going to want to be here. Gather ‘round Town Hall for the most tail-waggin’ time in all of West Virginia. Meet trainers, groomers, and makers of specialty leashes, collars and hand-made dog tags.

Last year, visitors were awed by a pair of champion border collies herding sheep. There was a flyball competition, a parade of rescue dogs and an exhibition of rare breeds. A pastor even offered his services to bless man’s best friend!

There’s more in store this year!

5. Sheep to Shawl

May 27-28, Prickett’s Fort State Park, Fairmont

So you know wool comes from a sheep, but do you ever take much time to think about the in between?

At Sheep to Shawl, you’ll watch some very fluffy sheep get a haircut and then learn what happens next (Turns out, it’s a lot: washing, drying, picking, carding, spinning, plying, weaving… and you’ll get to see it all!)

6. Wine and Jazz

May 27-28, Snowshoe

There’s nothing better than a good ol’ Wine and Jazz festival— except maybe one at an elevation of 4,848’. Atop Snowshoe Mountain, you’ll get an astonishing view of the rolling Allegheny ridgelines.

If you think Snowshoe is best when covered in snow, think again. Enjoy blue skies, mild temps and mountain breezes in the resort’s beautiful village area. You’ll get a chance to sip some of the area’s best wines with fabulously paired gourmet bites.

7. Vandalia Gathering

May 26-28, WV Capitol Complex, Charleston

Each year, the Capitol Complex comes alive with the sounds of Appalachia.

This annual festival brings together musicians for a weekend full of picking—whether it be a mandolin, dulcimer, banjo, fiddle or guitar. Elder, fabled musicians and young’ns alike will perform on stage, compete in contests and jam out in the green grass.

Grab some food, sprawl out on a blanket in the sun and let the pickers provide the perfect soundtrack.

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This post was last updated on July 24, 2020