Maple Syrup Festival coming to Pickens

The Pickens Improvement and Historical Society is preparing for the 29th annual West Virginia Maple Syrup Festival March 16-17 in Pickens, deep in the woods of Randolph County.

This annual festival has become famous in West Virginia and surrounding states. The attendance increases every year in rain, snow or sunshine. The weather in Pickens is very unpredictable in March, but this has not affected the festival in past years.

The citizens of Pickens are proud of the fact that even though the community is small, everyone pulls together, along with friends and family from here and there, to sponsor such a grand affair that is enjoyed by so many.

The festival is unique. While there are no parades or carnival rides, it does offer a variety of educational events that can be enjoyed by both young and old. Most of these events represent a part of the town’s heritage, which the residents are proud to pass on to others. There will be demonstrations of basket weaving, wood chopping and West Virginia crafters at work; and, of course, the process of making maple syrup. Exhibits of arts, photos and handmade quilts will be on display throughout the festival. A chainsaw artist also will be there to show off his flair.

The traditional Pancake and Buckwheat Cake Feed will open March 16 at the American Legion Hall and at the Pickens School Cafeteria from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and again March 17 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. This delicious combination consists of buttermilk pancakes, buckwheat cakes, pure maple syrup and sausage. The cost is $7.50 for adults and $5.50 for children 10 and younger. There is a charge of 50 cents for sausage.

On March 16, from 5 to 7 p.m., there will be a ham and bean buffet at the American Legion Hall. The cost is $8 for adults and $5 for children.

A good ole’ Country Round and Square Dance will begin at 8 p.m. March 16 at the American Legion Hall in Pickens. The cost is $5.

An abundance of maple syrup, maple candy, maple sugar, handmade crafts and souvenirs of the festival will be on sale throughout the festival. The Pickens U.S. Post Office will again offer a special pictorial cancellation and a variety of stamps, philatelic and retail items.