By Rachael, VISTA
Mark your calendars – FestivALL Charleston is right around the corner. Starting June 16th, Downtown Charleston, WV will host its annual multi-arts, multi-venue summer festival, partnering with over 60 arts and community organizations and hundreds of local, regional, national and international artists.
“It’s a place and event where you can stroll and be happy, where you can look at art, hear music, watch street performers, and just mingle with people. You never quite know what treat will be up the street, what sight will bring delight.’
One of FestivALL’s most popular events is Blues, Brews & BBQ. Come by to enjoy great craft brews, delicious food, and the best blues artists on Friday, June 24th.
Another FestivALL favorite, Wine & All That Jazz will be on Saturday, June 25, 2016 on the beautiful banks of the Kanawha River overlooking the Capital Dome. This event, produced by Charleston’s Fund for the Arts, is a daylong concert and garden party featuring local West Virginia’s vineyards, delicious food, and array of exciting musical performers.
This year FestivALL Charleston presents Mountain Stage with Larry Groce featuring Lucius, Margaret Glaspy, Rachael Yamagata, and William Matheny on Saturday June 26, 2016.
“Come watch the city become a work of art!”
For more information:
Today, the Whipple Company Store houses the Appalachian Heritage Museum where you can visit and experience the history and cultural heritage of West Virginia coal mining families. Tours are held throughout the summer that offer a great opportunity to learn about our West Virginia heritage, coal mining experience, Appalachian culture with a hands on approach.
The Whipple company Store has many exciting events planned so mark your calendar now!
Saturday, May 21st – the Whipple Company Store will be recognizing their 10 year reunion as a museum. This special event will feature the New River Youth Symphony and a tour of the beautiful building from 3-6 pm. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.
Sunday, May 22nd – A benefit concert featuring both classical and Appalachian music will be held from 3-5 pm. Any and all donations will be accepted. Proceeds will benefit continuing music education for Charlotte Lynn’s trip to Green Mountain Music Camp in Vermont.
Saturday, May 28th – Car show from 9 am – 3pm. For more information about the car show: http://whipplecompanystore.com/2016carshow.html
Friday, June 10th – The Genealogy and Study Room dedication will be held in honor of Shirley Love from 3-6 pm, featuring a performance by Ann Sumpter Arrington and Charlotte Lynn on violin. Refreshments and museum tour will be provided.
Wednesday, June 15th – Musical performance by Tom Breiding, starting at 5:30 pm.
October, 1st and 2nd from 11 to 6 pm – Whipple Train days featuring train displays of many model trains and set ups. The entire building will be dedicated to trains of the past.
For more information about the Whipple Company Store visit: http://www.whipplecompanystore.com
For more information about the events: http://whipplecompanystore.com/events2016.html
Or call: 304 465-0331
7485 Okey L. Patteson Road
Scarbro, West Virginia 25917
By Rachael, PAWV VISTA
Did you know that April is National Volunteer Month? This month is all about celebrating service, taking action, and encouraging individuals to engage in their communities. In my opinion, one of the greatest aspects of volunteerism is that there are so many different ways to do it. So, in honor of National Volunteer Month, I have put together a list of service projects happening across the state.
Cleanup at Rich Mountain Battlefield
Saturday, April 2 at 11 a.m. Join Rich Mountain Battlefield in protecting the battlefield by removing trash and winter debris at Park Day cleanup. Saturday, April 9 at 11 a.m. will be the trail clean up.
Call (304) 637-7424 for more information about the event or check out the Rich Mountain Battlefield Facebook page.
Address: Rich Mountain Rd, Beverly, WV 26253
Shepherdstown Battlefield Restoration
Saturday, April 2, 10 AM till 2 PM – Join the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission for cleanup and restoration work at Shepherdstown Battlefield. Help restore the ground where the September 19-20, 1862 battle was fought. Activities will include landscaping, trash pickup, prep work, removing modern materials and more.
For more information about the event contact email@example.com or call (304) 728-3228
Meet at the parking area near the intersection of Through and River Road. Shepherdstown. Bring Gloves!
Heavner Cemetery Survey in Buckhannon
Saturday, April 9th, from 1 till 5 PM, at the Heavner Cemetery in Buckhannon. Volunteers will record data on the cemetery based on the following criteria: number of headstones in each century, material of gravestones (slate, marble, granite, sandstone, fieldstone, other), and conditions of gravestones (readable, eroded, badly tilted, cracked/broken, broken but standing, broken but no longer standing). No experience in preservation or geology required. Volunteers will be given an informational sheet to help them identify the material and conditions of the headstone.
Each volunteer would be assigned an area within the cemetery. The process should take around 3.5 hours, but volunteers may go at their own pace. The more volunteers that can participate, the faster the survey can be completed.
The information collected would be used for a preliminary inventory form that’s required for the National Register process.
For more information contact Christina Rieth (AmeriCorps Member) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Address: Heavner Cemetery, County Hwy 13, Buckhannon, West Virginia 26201
Volunteer Day at Jackson’s Mill
Saturday, April 23, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM – Come help get the Heritage Area at WVU Jackson’s Mill ready for the 2016 season. Projects include: removing and reinstalling fence posts & rails, preparing planting beds in the Heritage Garden, rebuilding the walkway into the gristmill, and other fun & exciting projects.
Did I mention there’s pizza involved? A free lunch will be provided at 12:30 for all volunteers.
For more information contact Joe Obidzinski (AmeriCorps Member) at email@example.com
Address: 160 WVU Jackson Mill, Weston, WV 26452
By Rachael, PAWV VISTA
Every year in the town of Ireland, West Virginia (Lewis County) an Irish Spring Festival is held in celebration of St. Patrick’s day and the Vernal Equinox. But most importantly, it as a celebration of the communities Scots – Irish heritage and a way of welcoming spring to Appalachia. The theme of the festival varies year to year and is inspired by the different plants and animals of spring. This year’s theme is Horseshoes.
One of the festivals most unique events is the West Virginia Irish Road Bowling competition. In this old Irish tradition, an iron and steel small cannonball, called a “bowl” is hurled down a 1.2 mile country lane, and the fewest throws to the finish line wins, similar to disc golf.
At the moment of the Vernal Equinox, the festival goers trek up a cliff to the Blarney Stone where they stand an egg on end, the church bells ring, and just like that, the festival is over.
This year 35th Annual Irish Spring Festival will be held March 17 at 7:00 PM to March 20 at 8:00 PM.
For more information about the festival, check out their Facebook page:
The schedule of events is as follows:
Friday March 18, 2016
7:00 pm – Irish Jig Square Dance
7:00 pm – Costume Contest
8:00 pm – House Decoration Winners Announced
8:30 pm – Costume Contest
9:00 pm – King and Queen Coronation
Saturday March 19, 2016
Arts & Crafts, Irish themed food and drinks, harp music, an Ireland postal station with the 2016 St. Patrick’s Day collector’s cancellation stamp and a wide array of gift items are features from 9am to 4pm in the Ireland Community Building. Health Screenings by Community Care of WV will be available.
9:00 am -Scavenger Hunt
9:30 am – Kite Fly
10:00 am – Lucky Charms Horseshoe Pitch
10:00 am – Hunting Hounds [Central WV Hunting Dog Association]
10:30 am – Tour de Shamrock [10.5 mile bike tour]
10:30 – Intermediate Harp Workshop [Extra harps available at the church]
11:00 am – Foul Shooting Contest
11:30 am – Harp Concert Rehearsal [Ireland U.M. Church]
1:00 pm – The March “MARCH” Parade
2:00 pm – Harp Concert [Ireland U.M. Church]
2:30 pm – Road Bowling
3:00 pm – Beginners Harp Workshops [Ireland U.M. Church]
4:00 pm – Just Ducky Sweepstakes – Duck Race
4:30 pm – Building Shamrocks Talent Contest
7:00 pm – Luck O’ the Irish Bingo
11:59 pm – Ascent to the Blarney Rock
Sunday March 20, 2016
12:30 am – Vernal Equinox
Noon to 4:00 pm Shamrock CEOS Arts & Craft Table
1:00 pm – Snake Chase, 10K Walk/Run
1:30 pm – Road Bowling
2:00 – 4:00 pm – “Acoustics Only” Jam Session
4:00 pm – Fried Potato Contest
5:00 pm – Unicorns, Gremlins & Shmoos Pet Show
6:00 pm – Corn Hole Challenge
The small, boutique hotel will give you something special to remember together. No two rooms in the hotel are the same but each have their own elegant character and unique style. This Valentine’s Day, there are three romance packages to choose from.
The “Traditional” package for a simple, loving stay. Rose petals are scattered to set the mood, along with Holl’s Chocolates and Champagne to share. The “Indulgence” package adds a little extra touch. And finally, the “Signature” package is for couples who want some serious pampering. Enjoy being treated with a couple’s massage before you return to your Traditional package room.
The Blennerhassett Hotel is a Historic Hotel of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance.
The century-old Blennerhassett Hotel stands today as a reminder that it is possible to merge old-world atmosphere with all the modern-day amenities that make a historic hotel a genuine treasure and will be a wonderful place to spend a romantic weekend with your Valentine.
For more information about these packages call: the Blennerhassett Hotel Reservations Manager at 304.865.8650
Or visit: http://theblennerhassett.com
For more information about the historic Blennerhassett Hotel visit:
For more information about Historic Hotels of America visit:
By Rachael, AmeriCorps VISTA
The Feast of the Seven Fishes Festival in downtown Fairmont is held the second Saturday in December each year to celebrate the Italian Christmas Eve tradition. Located on Monroe Street in historic downtown Fairmont, the popular street fair dedicated to preserving Italian-American culinary and cultural traditions will be open from 11 am to 6 pm. Traditional Italian foods, live music, a cooking school, a street market, and plenty of warm, dry seating are all awaiting attendees. The festival, organized by Main Street Fairmont, continues to grow each year – but the Italian authenticity and sense of community remains. This one-day event is a lovely way to get ready for the holidays – featuring authentic Italian cuisine, shopping, music, cooking demos, and a street market.
A unique feature of the festival is the live cooking demo presented each year by the Festival Cucina cooking school. The cooking school teaches participants step-by-step to prepare a variety of old and new recipes they can serve at home on Christmas Eve. The recipes change each year so that participants can enjoy a new tradition to take home.
Local bands, dancers, and singers will perform a unique combination of Italian and Christmas music. Local crafters will showcase the best of their Italian roots and Appalachian heritage. Seating and tables will be located in the former firehouse on Monroe Street and in various locations under shelter to keep visitors warm.
After the festival, head over to Morris Park and check out Festival of the Lights. This annual holiday event costs $10 per car and offers 1.3 miles of animated Christmas displays.
The Marion County community invites people to share its Italian heritage at the Feast of the Seven Fishes Festival on Dec. 12.
For more information, visit the Main Street Fairmont webpage at http://mainstreetfairmont.org/ and at http://threecitieswv.com/2015/10/30/feast-of-the-seven-fishes-festival/.
By Rachael, VISTA
The Blennerhassett Island, located in Parkersburg, WV, was discovered by Harman Blennerhassett in 1798 where he settled on the wild and wonderful island and built a magnificent mansion. The Blennerhassett Mansion became known during its time as the most beautiful home in the Ohio Valley. It was an extremely elegant estate with interior furnishings and paintings from all over the world as well as beautiful lawns and flower gardens.
Unfortunately, the magnificence of the Blennerhassett haven proved to be tragically short lived and in 1811, the mansion burned to the ground leaving only legend behind. The 1984 reconstruction of the estate began by the State of West Virginia and today Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park has over 50,000 visitors a year.
Today, visitors to the island start the tour with a relaxing ride aboard the Island Belle Sternwheeler. Almost every day of the week, visitors to Parkersburg, W.Va., can find the sternwheeler waiting to depart from Point Park to take them to the island.
Once on the island, there are countless activities to enjoy! Volunteers in costume are available to conduct tours throughout the mansion. Horse drawn carriage rides are also available as a way to tour the charming island. Aside from the mansion itself, the nature and landscape of the island is delightful as well. Hardwood groves, long beaches and broad fields provide the perfect habitat for countless varieties of wildlife and make for a wonderful day hike around the island.
Blennerhassett Island also features several unique events for visitors to enjoy all year round. This October, for two nights only, the island is adorned with hundreds of candles, and electricity is banished. The mansion and the island are transformed into a flame-lit world of the 18th-century where the Blennerhassetts are hosting a party on the island. It is an enchanting evening filled with music, 18th-century dancing, and countless other activities on the island. While on the island, plan to take a horse-drawn wagon ride, visit the gift shop, or warm yourself by an inviting bonfire. Reservations are required for this event. Relaxing fall Dinner Cruises and Sunday Brunches with Margaret Blennerhassett are also popular and enjoyable events for guests.
Plan a trip to the Mid-Ohio Valley and come see the Historic Blennerhassett Island State Park!
For more about the history of the island: http://www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com/mansion.html
Plan a trip! – http://www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com/location.html
May 10th, 2015 is the 107th celebration on Mother’s Day in Grafton, West Virginia.
Since 1908, a celebration for mothers has taken place at the Andrews Methodist Church, now known as the International Mother’s Day Shrine, in the town of Grafton, West Virginia. This historic building has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
The Story of Mother’s Day:
On May 1, 1864, in the little village of Webster, four miles south of Grafton, West Virginia, Granville and Ann Jarvis welcomed their daughter, Anna Jarvis, into the world. The Grafton area was an important railroad center during the Civil War and Mrs. Jarvis’ birthplace had served as a temporary headquarters for Gen. McClellan in 1861.
During the war years, Ann Jarvis worked very hard to provide nursing care and promote better sanitation, which helped save thousands of lives on both sides of the conflict. After the war, she continued her work to help heal the wounds of the war years and bring families and communities together again. Young Anna received her basic education in the public schools of Grafton and attended Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia.
In 1902, after the death of Granville Jarvis, the family moved to Philadelphia. It was there that Ann Jarvis passed away on May 9, 1905. Two years later, in 1907, on the second Sunday in May, Anna invited several friends to her home in Philadelphia, in commemoration of her mother’s life. On this occasion, she announced her idea – a day of national celebration in honor of mothers – a Mother’s Day.
The following spring, Anna wrote to the Superintendent of Andrews Methodist Church Sunday School in Grafton, suggesting that the church in which her mother had taught classes for twenty years, celebrate a Mother’s Day in her honor. The idea appealed to Mr. Loar and on May 10, 1908, the first official Mother’s Day service was held in the church. Anna established the white carnation as the symbol of the celebration and developed other text and visual tools in honor of the event. It was Anna who coined the term, “Mother’s Day Association”, used during the period she was developing her concept of what Mother’s Day should be. Subsequently, West Virginia Gov. William E. Glasscock issued the first Mother’s Day proclamation on April 26, 1910. In 1912, at the General methodist Conference in Minneapolis, MN, Anna was recognized as the founder of Mother’s Day. A joint resolution in the United States Congress designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. The official resolution was approved by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914.
For more information, see: http://www.mothersdayshrine.com/the-founding-of-mothers-day/
It currently serves as a venue for the arts including events such as The Rustic Mechanicals performing Shakespeare’s comedy “A Midsummer Nights Dream” and The Fearless Fools comedy troop performing an improv show.
Since 2000…and with assistance from the City of Grafton and the State of West Virginia, the International Mother’s Day Shrine purchased the Historic Manos Theatre and have started on its renovations. New bathrooms, electrical upgrades, new roof, some interior renovations, and a lighting and sound system have been updated since this purchase. Future plans are to develop a theatrical play about the history of Grafton, its role in the Civil War and the formation of the International Holiday Mother’s Day. – Grafton, WV, Downtown Revitalization.
‘Like’ the Manos Theater Facebook page for updated on future events and restoration:
The Purple Fiddle found its home in 2001 on Front Street in what was formerly the Depollo Building. Joseph DePollo opened his general store on Front Street in 1903. The present building was constructed in 1915-16 and the family of 10 lived on the upper floors. The store functioned as a gathering place for miners on the way to and from work. The DePollo store still features many of its original features, inside and out, including the counters, shelves, ceiling and storefronts. The Purple Fiddle continues to serve as a gathering place for locals and visitors today. The owners consider the people the best attribute of the Fiddle, writing, “What is cultivated here is heart-warming and very much in the spirit of longtime Depollo Store owner, Mr. John DePollo, and his impromptu social gatherings. Its is more than just a place to meet and greet, it has become the heart of an amazing community, where tender and creative souls gather to nurture powerful ideas and build surprising futures.”
The Purple Fiddle has drawn many talented groups over the years, including the now world-famous Avett Brothers. Other up-and-coming bands continue to put the Fiddle on their tour stops. As The Purple Fiddle continues to thrive, quality entertainment is never hard to find on the weekends in Thomas, WV.
Combine your stop at the Fiddle with near-by outdoor excursions including Blackwater Falls State Park, Canaan Valley State Park, Whitegrass Cross-Country Ski Area, and Timberline Downhill ski resort.
Learn more about the Purple Fiddle schedule: http://purplefiddle.com/.
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