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After two years, Augusta Heritage Festival to return Saturday

Submitted photo The Augusta Heritage Festival will return to Elkins City Park Saturday after COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the annual event in 2020.

ELKINS — A longtime local tradition will return to Elkins City Park Saturday, while a new event will being entertainment to the streets of Elkins starting Friday evening.

The Augusta Heritage Festival will make its triumphant return to a live format this weekend after having its annual festivities interrupted by COVID 19 in 2020. The celebration will actually kick off Friday night with a set of block parties.

“This weekend marks our return back into live events for the Augusta Festival,” Seth Young, executive director of the Augusta Heritage Center, told The Inter-Mountain. “I think people are ready for gatherings and concerts of this type. We are excited to welcome everybody back into Augusta events.”

Both block parties on Friday and Saturday will begin at 8 p.m. and will be held in front of El Gran Sabor on Kerens Avenue.

The Hooten Hollars, a high-energy American roots band from Columbia, Missouri, will get the party started on Friday night. A honky-tonk dance featuring Augusta’s All-Star Classic Country Revue will take to the street the following night.

“The Hooten Hollars are a great band who are really super high energy and play blues, Americana and rock,” Young said. “They are a three-piece with a slide-guitar player, a drummer and a bass/saxophone player.

“Then on the next night at the honky-tonk dance, the concert will feature many of Augusta’s classic country instructors who are the folks who would normally be up here on the D&E campus doing our honky-tonk dances in the pavilion. So we are going to get a little taste of the dance pavilion downtown this summer.”

The Augusta Festival itself will be from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday at the City Park.

The festival will include craft demonstrations and classes, a food truck mall, musical jams and more than 40 craft vendors. The classes include a botanical watercolors class, a paper-making class, and a class for kids about making art from their natural surroundings. Jacob Currence and some of the Old Brick Playhouse apprentices will entertain between the classes with a series of puppet shows.

Craft vendors will also be on hand at the festival as some of the region’s best potters, jewelers, woodworkers, blacksmiths, and crafts folk will be in attendance.

“We have a lot of cool stuff happening throughout the day,” Young said. “There’s definitely going to be some of the best hand-made crafts and goods from West Virginia.”

Of course an abundance of great music will fill the air throughout the entire day as three different areas within the City Park will feature live entertainment.

“There will be an old-time pavilion, classic-country pavilion and a bluegrass tent,” Young said. “Those three will be open for jamming all day and scheduled at specific times will be jam leaders, who are masters within their field of music. They will be available to lead everyone in songs during their time slots.

“The jam leaders are also staggered, so if someone wants to go play with an old-time master and then go with a bluegrass-master, they can do that. They all won’t be playing at the same time, we are staggering the schedule so that people can go to all the led jams that day.”

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