Open to the community at-large and featuring local artists, crafters, musicians, cooks, authors, storytellers, outdoorsmen and other vendors and talents, the Appalachian Festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 9.
Dozens of vendors took part in the celebration last year, and the college hopes even more will participate in 2016.
Interested vendors are invited to contact the college for a vendor application. Contact BC’s Eric Mason by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 276-326-4203. Vendors may also access an application online at bluefield.edu/appalachia. Vendor applications must be submitted no later than March 28.
Vendors participating in the Appalachian Festival will receive a long table for their demonstration/sales area, provided by the college. Vendors may bring up to two additional tables of their own and are encouraged to bring canopies for their demonstration area. Vendor spaces are $10, and fees must be paid by the morning of the festival.
A typical Appalachian Festival in years past has featured artists and craftsmen exhibiting and selling quilts, crochet, woodwork, stuffed animals, birdhouses, jewelry and soaps. Food vendors have sold homemade bread, desserts and kettle corn. Musicians have played bluegrass music and Appalachian-born instruments, while outdoorsmen have demonstrated turkey calling, fly-fishing, and bait-casting. Joining the vendors each year: hundreds of locals looking for a day of family fun.
“It’s wonderful!” said Dr. Emily Lambert, a BC biology professor who has enjoyed the festival in years past. “I grew up in the Appalachian region all of my life. We have a wonderful place to live here. This is what it’s all about. To me, it’s very relaxing.”
The day might also include book sales and signings with authors, along with storytelling from local historians. Vendors and exhibitors of all kinds are invited to join the fun.
Bluefield College launched its annual Celebration of Appalachia in the fall of 2011, featuring lectures, concerts, exhibits, discussions, movies, theatre, tours, festivals, and other educational and entertaining activities designed to honor the Appalachian heritage. The marquee event, the festival, began in the spring of 2012. The celebration is meant to increase the understanding and appreciation of the rich history, culture, people and traditions of the region in which we live and often includes music, theatre, storytelling, artisan exhibits, craft sales, book signings, country cooking and other family fun.
For a vendor registration form or for more information regarding this year’s festival or other events, visit the Bluefield College web site at bluefield.edu/appalachia, email [email protected], or call 276-326-4212.