Ramps and Rail Festival to roll into Elkins Saturday

Prepare your palates – the fifth annual Ramps and Rail Festival is rolling into downtown Elkins Saturday.

Scheduled to kick off at the Elkins Depot Town Square, the wild onion extravaganza will get underway at 10 a.m., when food and craft vendors will open up shop. Soon after, Elkins Mayor Van Broughton will formally welcome festivalgoers at 10:30 a.m.

Broughton said Wednesday that the city has been shining up the streets in preparation for the festival and that he’s happy the prognosis for good weather is promising.

“It showcases our city,” Broughton said of the festival Wednesday. “It’s the first major spring festival or event, and local chefs get to show off their talents and it gives everyone new ideas for how to prepare ramps.

“It draws visitors from near and far, and it’s just a great opportunity to relax and enjoy he day with family and friends,” the mayor added.

Numerous local crafters and food vendors will sell specialty items and unique ramp dishes throughout the day, and the public will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite vendors. Winners will be presented with plaques during a special ceremony at 5 p.m., as the festival is winding down.

Musical notes will begin mingling with other sights, sounds and smells when Appalachian Spirit starts playing at 11 a.m., followed by Wish Awake, which will perform original rock and roll hits at 1 p.m. Mark Hamrick will take the stage at 3 p.m.

“There’s going to be music pretty much all day,” said Kenny Talbott, a volunteer with the Elkins Depot Welcome Center. “It’s just a good time. People all get together in the square and sample all kinds of different foods that are prepared.”

But that’s only half the fun. The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad is running two special one-hour train rides aboard the New Tygart Flyer that will depart at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person, and reservations are highly recommended by calling 1-877-MTN-RAIL.

To register as a food or craft vendor, anyone interested can contact Harold Elbon at Elkins Days Inn at 304-637-4667. General festival information is available by contacting the Elkins Depot Welcome Center at 304-635-7803 or elkinswelcomecenter@gmail.com.

Ramps & Rail Festival is sponsored by the Elkins Depot Welcome Center, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Randolph County Development Authority, Randolph County Commission and the city of Elkins.