Adventure Advisory: Mountain State Music and Culture

The Adventure Advisory, prepared and distributed by Wild, Wonderful West Virginia, highlights some of the many activities happening across the Mountain State. Additional listings are posted at www.GoToWV.com. Event organizers and promoters are encouraged to submit items electronically at http://GoToWV.com/partners/.

May 14-22: 75th Anniversary West Virginia Strawberry Festival, Buckhannon

[email protected]; http://www.wvstrawberryfestival.com/

This strawberry celebration honors the tradition of strawberry growers in the mountain state with plenty of sweet events! The festival hosts 4 parades, a carnival, arts and crafts show, various competitions (save room for the Strawberry Pie Eating Contest!), strawberry auctions, Irish Road Bowling, Canoe Races, Strawberry Idol, and much more.

May 20: Gandy Dancer Theatre’s Premier Show, Elkins

304-636-4935; www.gandydancertheatre.com

Come for dinner and stay for the show! The Mountain Memories Show Band will serve up a 2 hour Branson-style show with music from the 1950’s through today. Country, Pop, Motown, Gospel, and Patriotic tunes coupled with family- friendly comedy and talented dancers will have you dancin’ and laughin’ all evening long.

May 19-21: Pocahontas County Drama Workshop Presents: Playfest, Marlinton

304-799-4636; http://www.pocahontasoperahouse.org/events/

The inaugural Opera House Playfest features short 10-minute plays primarily by West Virginia and Appalachian playwrights. From an unfortunate incident with the Mothman to a love story about shoes, you’ll witness a sampler pack of drama, comedy and everything in between! Tickets are $10 and are available at the door.

May 21: Matewan’s Heritage Day, Matewan

304-235-5240; www.historicmatewan.com/events  

Each May, the town of Matewan puts on a thrilling celebration commemorating the history and heritage the town is known for. Reenactments of the Matewan Massacre, a Hatfield McCoy play, screenings of the Matewan Massacre Drama, along with live music, street vendors and scavenger hunts make for a day of activities folks of all ages can enjoy!

May 26-29: Webster County Woodchopping Festival, Webster Springs

304-847-7666;  http://www.visitwebsterwv.com/event/webster-county-woodchopping-festival/

Every Memorial Day weekend in Webster Springs, the Southern U.S. World Championship Woodchopper title crowns a new champion. Choppers and spectators come from near and far to watch, as well as stroll through the accompanying car and motorcycle shows, arts and crafts show, the West Virginia Turkey Calling Championship and, of course, there will be live music!

May 27-28: Sheep to Shawl, Prickett’s Fort State Park, Fairmont

304-363-3030; [email protected]; http://www.prickettsfortstatepark.com/events.html

Ever wonder just how you favorite shawl came to be? Learn about the entire process, beginning with a good ol’ sheep shearing, then see exactly how the wool is prepared through the processes of carding, spinning and weaving. Regular admission to Pricketts Fort applies: Adults – $8, Seniors 60 and up – $6, kids 5 and under are free!

May 27-29; FestivALL Preview Weekend, Charleston

304-470-0489; [email protected]; www.festivallcharleston.com  

FestivALL’s Preview Weekend brings events both old and new together for a new summer kick-off in the capital city. The weekend roster includes Live on the Levee’s first concert of the season, a reimagined Taste-of-ALL dine around, FestivALT – a free concert featuring local and national music acts and more. Taste-of-ALL tickets will be available at the gate.

May 27-29: ArtSpring, Tucker County (Thomas, Davis, Canaan, Parsons)

304-698-2869; [email protected]; http://www.artspringwv.com/  

Tour the towns of Tucker in this county wide celebration of the arts! Take part in photo workshops, craft activities and demonstrations, or take a stroll through town to view various art exhibits. Many more events take place throughout the weekend, so grab some friends or gather up the kids for an all-out arts excursion.

May 27-29: The Vandalia Gathering, Charleston

304-558-0220; http://www.wvculture.org/vandalia/index.html

Start your summer off on the right foot while you stomp and dance along to the pickin’ at the 40th Vandalia Gathering. This treasured Mountain State event is a spotlight of West Virginia heritage, crafts and culture with music, artists and handmade goods all gathered on the grounds of the State Capitol for a uniquely West Virginian celebration. Admission is FREE!

May 28: Penitentiary Twilight Tours, Moundsville

304-845-6200; www.wvpentours.com

Experience the thrills and chills of the West Virginia Penitentiary during their Twilight Tours. This 90-minute guided tour will take you through the twists and turns of the historic and paranormal halls of the prison and then you’ll have the opportunity to roam the halls on your own. $30 per person, 13 and older.

May 28: Wonderland Mountain Challenge, Hico

304-469-2651; [email protected]; www.ACEadventureseries.com

This demanding trail run takes runners (or walkers!) on a distinctive race route through the New River Gorge, past scenic rock outcrops, cascading streams and abandoned coal mines. Choose between a half marathon, a 10K run or a 5-mile walk. Registration fees range from $20-$40, depending on whether you’re a walker or a runner!

May 28-29: Wine and Arts Festival, Martinsburg

304-264-8801; http://www.travelwv.com/events/wineandarts/

The lush grounds of the historic Boydville Mansion provides a perfect setting for the annual Wine and Arts Festival. Sip on some of the tastiest West Virginia wines in a complimentary glass, then select a bottle of your favorite to share with friends under a shady tree. The sounds of live jazz, blues, folk and rock music will make for an enjoyable and relaxing outing.

May 29: Art in the Park, Berkeley Springs

304-258-6419; [email protected]; www.berkeleyspringssp.com/events  

This arts event brings together nationally known artists and the best part is – they’re local from the Berkeley Springs region! Rain or shine, they’ll exhibit right across from the Farmer’s Market, so you can pick up fresh, local ingredients after you’ve selected your favorite handcrafted item.

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