Bluefield University welcomes the community to visit the annual Appalachian Festival on Saturday, April 13, 2019, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the quad area of the campus. This festival celebrates the history, people, music, food and traditions of Appalachia and the culture and influence of coal.
The university’s “Celebration of Appalachia” started in the fall of 2011 as a series of lectures, concerts, exhibits, discussions, movies, theatre, tours, festivals, and other educational and entertaining events that were designed to honor the Appalachian heritage. The Appalachian Festival was added in the spring of 2012 to further celebrate the history, culture, people, and traditions of Appalachia with live music, arts, crafts, cuisine, literature, and discourse.
The marquee event, the Appalachian Festival on April 13, features local musicians, including bagpiper Gavin Scott of the Virginia State Police Honor Guard, The Butcher Family Band, Paul Catron, Lanny Lindamood, Ron and Rory Mullennex, Steve Kruger, and the Bland County Old Time String Band, among others. The schedule of musicians is as follows:
10:00 – Opening, Piper
10-10:30 Bland Co. Old Time String Band
10:30-11 Jim Lloyd
11-11:30 Casey Lewis
11:30-12 Butcher Family
12-12:45 DANCE- Steve Kruger, Rory Mullennex
12:45-1:15 Kay Justice
1:15-1:45 Paul Catron, Lanny Lindamood
1:45-2:15 Kay Justice
2:15-2:45 Steve Kruger, Rory Mullennex
2:45-3:15 Ron Mullennex
3:15-4 DANCE – Steve Kruger, Rory Mullennex, Ron Mullennex
4:00–Bagpipe closing – Senior Trooper Gavin Scott
The festival features artists, crafters, woodcarvers, cooks, storytellers, authors and dozens of vendors and talents.The Appalachian Festival also includes the announcement of the winners of the Fifth Annual Nora Lockett Memorial Appalachian Writing Contest.
Other events as part of the Celebration of Appalachia include the art show of Lois Stephens who is a local artist who focuses on painting the harmony found in her home, Southwest Virginia and is the latest artist featured in the first-floor Lansdell art gallery until April 12.
“It’s important to have events like this at Bluefield University because it strengthens our connection with the community,” said the festival director Charles Reese. “It’s a chance for us to say, ‘come to our campus, celebrate who we are.’ I think it is important to celebrate Appalachia because it is who we are as an area. It’s our roots.”
The Appalachian Festival on April 13 is free and open to the public except for purchases from vendors.