Visit The Ramps & Rail Festival in Elkins, WV

Explorer Blog shared by: Elkins-Randolph County CVB

Elkins, West Virginia is home to the annual Ramps & Rail Festival which typically takes place on the last Saturday in April. Every year for more than a decade, this festival has celebrated two iconic West Virginia experiences – the foraging and culinary experience of the native ramp and the Appalachian railroad heritage. This year, the festival will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at the Elkins Depot Welcome Center. The Ramps & Rail Festival brings in a variety of local chefs, arts and craft vendors and musicians. Here’s the catch… The food vendors have to incorporate the use of ramps, otherwise known as wild leeks, into their cuisine. This West Virginia native vegetable is the first edible green of the season and is known for its fragrant odor and garlicky taste.

FOOD

Beginning at 10 am until 5 pm, the town square of Elkins is filled with the aroma of this pungent wild edible. Festival-goers come hungry, anticipating the delicious ramp-filled offerings of the dozens of food vendors. From delicious, juicy burgers and ramp risotto with shrimp, to ramp infused cachapas and award-winning ramp dip, your ramp cravings are sure to be satisfied. To make it fun for the vendors and attendees, there is a friendly competition where you can vote on your favorite dish. Be sure to visit the Elkins Depot Welcome Center information booth to cast your vote!

TRAIN RIDES

The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad offers hour-long train rides during the Ramps & Rail festival. Departing at 11 am and 1 pm, enjoy a ride on the rails with family or friends taking in the scenic mountainous landscape and return to the festival for food and live music. We highly recommend reserving tickets in advance at mountainrailwv.com or calling 304-636-9477.

LIVE MUSIC

Bring your own chair and settle in at the Rotary Amphitheatre in Elkins Town Square. As you visit the food and craft vendors you’ll be able to hear the music throughout town square. The first music set starts at 11 am with some old-time and bluegrass. The Augusta Heritage Center presents the Mack Sample Band fronted by the legendary Mack Samples. Usually, you can find them as the house band for many area community dances, and now they are bringing their signature sound to the festival. Be sure to check out this quintessential West Virginia band to get a feel for the unique style of music indigenous to the area.

Starting at 1 pm, Aurora Celtic will take the stage. This edgy, mountain Irish band is sure to get your feet stomping to the beat. From the hills of West Virginia, Aurora Celtic plays evocative, original and traditional music that bridges the cultures of Scotland, Ireland and Appalachia.

ARTS & CRAFTS

Keeping the Appalachian experience alive, this festival brings high-quality craftsmanship right to the heart of downtown Elkins. The festival features a variety of local and regional artists showcasing their West Virginia-made products. This year expect to find face painting for children (or adults!), jewelry makers, handcrafted gifts, pottery, leatherworkers and plenty more!

Whether trying ramps for the first time or a seasoned connoisseur, make plans to visit Elkins this spring! We are looking forward to celebrating our Appalachian culinary and railroad heritage with you.

DIRECTIONS

(315 Railroad Avenue, Elkins, WV 26241) – Traveling from I-79 in West Virginia, take exit 99 to US Rt. 33 towards Elkins. You will exit at the Downtown Elkins exit from US 33 east. Take a right turn at the bottom of the exit ramp. Go straight until you come to a stoplight, and you will see the Elkins Depot in the near distance. Stay straight at the stoplight.

Traveling from US 219, US 250, or US 33 west from the western Virginia general area, you will follow these routes until you arrive in Elkins at the Railroad Avenue (Walgreen’s) stoplight. At this light, turn left (toward Go-Mart). The Depot will be ahead and on the right. Street parking is available in marked spaces downtown or in the gravel lot behind City Hall.


Samantha Peet

Samantha Peet resides in Elkins, West Virginia and has a passion for travel and a fondness for Appalachia. She’s lived among the rolling hills of Cumberland Valley in Pennsylvania; within the rural fields of Massachusetts; an artsy, vibrant town in upstate New York; ventured along many a New England village. She’s still exploring – finding new views, food and stories to share – check out her page @findnewviews.

Shared in Partnership with Elkins-Randolph County CVB

Elkins-Randolph County Tourism CVB provides assistance in planning trips and tourism opportunities for groups as well as individuals traveling to the Elkins-Randolph County area. Our goal is to help you plan the adventure specifically for you, your family, or group that will offer the best opportunities for your exploration of the area.

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This post was last updated on April 18, 2022