Co-sponsored by Grant’s Supermarkets and Verizon Wireless and open and free (with the exception of lunch and a workshop) to the community, the Appalachian Festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. outside on the BC Quad (between Shott Hall and Easley Library), or in the event of inclement weather inside the Dome Gymnasium.
Featured on the schedule for the day will be the bluegrass music of Clinton Collins and the Creek Boys at 11 a.m. and Stacy Grubb at 2 p.m.
Collins is an award winning singer/songwriter from the heart of Appalachia, who won the 2005 New Song Festival Award for “We’re Watching Home and Garden” and the Next Great West Virginia Song Contest with “The Appalachian Way.”
Grubb, a McDowell County (WV) native who grew up singing gospel hymns and contemporary Christian music, has performed with the Wheeling Jamboree and at festivals and concerts across the region. She is currently promoting her debut CD, “Hurricane.”
A second featured event will be an herb workshop from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., led by Ellen Reynolds from Beagle Ridge Farms in Wytheville, Virginia. The cost for the workshop is $50, including a planter and plants for participants.
The craft demonstrations for the Appalachian Festival will include basket making, yarn spinning, and pottery. Other Appalachian vendors will be on hand to display and sell their works.
“It should be a wonderful day for the family to celebrate Appalachia,” said Bluefield College festival coordinator Brenda Workman. “Bring your camping chairs and stay for the day.”
Food for the day will include fried apple pies and an Appalachian-themed lunch. Appalachian authors will be on hand to sale and sign their books, and Appalachian artists to show and sale their works.
The festival also will feature a petting zoo, storytelling, clogging, and dulcimer playing.
Brought to the community in part by the support of Grant’s Supermarkets and Verizon Wireless, the April 14 Appalachian Festival is just one of many events in Bluefield College’s yearlong “Celebration of Appalachia” symposium, featuring lectures, concerts, exhibits, discussions, movies, theatre, tours and other educational and entertaining activities designed to honor the Appalachian heritage.
“From the people, the work ethic, the loyalties and the challenges, to the natural beauty, the traditions, the music and the food, Appalachia is a fascinating and beautiful culture,” said BC president, Dr. David Olive. “Author Jeff Biggers once said, ‘you can’t understand America until you understand Appalachia.’ Our desire through this yearlong symposium is to increase the understanding and appreciation for the region in which we live. We hope the community will join us in this educational and entertaining venture, in this celebration of Appalachia.”
Other events on the “Celebration of Appalachia” schedule this spring include:
- “Thinking Like a Mountain: Creative Expressions of Concern for the Appalachian Mountains,” an art exhibit by regional painters, poets and songwriters, now through April 14 in BC’s Art Gallery on the first floor of Lansdell Hall.
- “Problems in Appalachia: A Panel Discussion,” Tuesday, April 10 at 7 p.m. in Shott Hall, hosted by BC’s “Media in Appalachia” class and featuring local experts on Appalachian history and culture
- “Mountain Jack,” a rollicking presentation of mountain folk tales and rousing mountain music, presented by BC Theatre, Thursday through Saturday, April 19-21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 22 at 2 p.m., Harman Chapel
- “Eva Easley Quilt Dedication,” Friday, April 20 at noon in Easley Library, recognizing the significant contributions of the Easley family, particularly the late Eva Easley, to the success of Bluefield College through the placement and dedication of a locally-handmade quilt representing her service to BC
- “Spring Instrumental Music Concert,” featuring Appalachian music by BC’s Concert Band, Community Orchestra, and Jazz Ensemble, Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m., Harman Chapel