The American Chestnut dominated the Appalachian Forests, boasting heights of over 100 feet and accounting for 1 in every 4 forest trees... Until a deadly blight discovered in 1904 in New York State put an abrupt end to this story, destroying nearly every American Chestnut in site. Mark the date on your calendar, Sunday 8 October 2017, Columbus Day Weekend, and plan to attend West Virginia’s newest Festival, held in Rowlesburg, WV, along the “big bend of the scenic Cheat River.” If the previous years are an indication of what to expect, then it will be a real treat for all of you nature lovers – come and celebrate the great Appalachian heritage of bygone years when 40% of our forests were covered with American Chestnut Trees, commonly known as the “Redwoods of the East.” The theme of the Chestnut Festival is, “Honoring the research scientists and the heritage of our former ‘giant’ hardwood tree, the Great American Chestnut Tree.” Research scientists are dedicated to restoring hybrid American Chestnut Trees to their former native habitat, which once dominated the hills of the 16 Appalachian States from Maine to Georgia. Park activities are planned for all ages and for all types of interest. They will take place in the Scenic Rowlesburg Park by the Cheat River, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Activities include, sampling and/or purchasing delicious chestnuts roasted on an open fire; chestnut vendors and other vendors selling their crafts and wares, including jarred chestnuts in honey; purchasing of various chestnut sapling trees for planting; networking with chestnut researchers. Food and beverages will be available at the Park Concession Stand.