If you're a Central West Virginia resident, September is a great time to stay at home absorbing autumn's beginning and all the activities we have around us. There will be no dull moments this month, as we are able to go shorter distances to arrive at events and enjoy most mountains sporting the year's brightest colors.
Today and tomorrow, there are a flurry of festivals focused around Lewis and Harrison counties. The Jubilee at Jackson's Mill and the Jane Lew Fireman's Arts and Crafts Show are well worth a visit with wonderful foods, arts and crafts, quilts and other colorful exhibits. A short distance up Interstate 79, the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival dominates Clarksburg streets. Pasta, pizza, meatball hoagies and other old world delicacies will greet you with rich aroma, as taste testing appears to be one of the top competitions.
Area residents will have only a week to rest up before the Randolph County Fair opens Sept. 5. Many surprises await attendees who will find a large variety of events on the sprawling Camp Pioneer grounds above Beverly. A rodeo is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, the West Virginia Open Fiddle and Banjo Contest begins Saturday at l p.m., concerts dominate the evenings and Gambill Amusement rides are part of the package. Information about the five-day event is available at the county's Extension Office in Wees Annex.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Shannon Bennett Campbell
The whole family can enjoy the 76th Mountain State Forest Festival Parade set Oct. 6 in Elkins, as it is one of West Virginia’s largest and oldest events.
Sept. 13, the Treasure Mountain Festival will open in Franklin. This annual Pendleton County celebration has concerts, foods and a parade that can fill the weekend bill.
While sightseers are beginning their migration to the mountains for annual leaf-peeping tours, local music entertainers at the American Mountain Theatre (304-630-3040) and the Gandy Dancer Theatre (304-636-4935) are featuring regular performances. An especially good Southern Gospel Show with the Isaacs is set for Sept. 23 at the AMT.
Following on the heels of this toe-tapping event will be the Preston County Buckwheat Festival, set for Sept. 23-30 in Kingwood. Great buckwheat cakes and sausage can be found in most Preston County towns, and arts and crafts, a parade and carnival are part of the Kingwood festivities. You might even want to detour through Canaan Valley and take in the Leaf Peepers Festival Sept. 27-30 on the way.
Elkins' New Tygart Flyer will be on the tracks with an extended October schedule, so as not to miss any of the West Virginia fall colors. Tickets can be reserved at 1-877-686-7245. A special nighttime train has been planned for Sept. l5 where the National Radio Astronomy Observatory staff will assist with some stargazing.
As September concludes, many will look forward to the 76th annual Mountain State Forest Festival that boasts of one of the biggest parades in West Virginia. The parade is set for l:30 p.m. Oct. 6 in Elkins.
Blended into this long list are the many high school football games that steal many spectators on Friday nights - hotdogs, hot chocolate and school victories wanted.
Home is where the heart is, and many area residents give much of their time to ensure that these many events are successful annual traditions. We are fortunate, indeed, to have special occasions where visitors from other locales flock to these nearby destinations.
This autumn, share in something we produce with a lower price tag and shorter commute. Be part of Central West Virginia's fun and pageantry and be proud to call this part of the Mountain State "home."