Bluefield College will host its eighth annual Celebration of Appalachia, April 12-14, featuring, as always, the traditional daylong Appalachian Festival, Saturday, April 14.
Open to the community-at-large and featuring local artists, crafters, musicians, cooks, authors, storytellers, dancers, and other vendors and talents, the Appalachian Festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 14. Dozens of vendors took part in the celebration last year, and the college hopes, even more, will participate in 2018.
Interested vendors must complete an online application for the Appalachian Festival at bluefield.edu/appalachia. Vendors may also contact the college for an application by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 276-326-4203. Vendor applications must be submitted no later than April 7.
Vendors participating in the Appalachian Festival will receive one six-foot table provided by the college for their demonstration/sales area. Vendors may bring up to two additional tables of their own, as long as they fit within the space provided, and are encouraged to bring canopies for their demonstration area, considering the festival will be outside in the BC campus quad.
Vendor spaces are $10, and fees must be paid by the morning of the festival. Set up time is from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. the day of the event, and tear down will not begin until 4 p.m. Food vendors are required to abide by Tazewell County Health Department regulations.
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 and old-time music and Appalachian-born instruments, while square dancers have graced the grounds with steps and moves cued by their callers. Joining the vendors each year: hundreds of locals looking for a day of family fun.
“It’s all great,” said community resident Wayne Stonestreet who has attended the Appalachian Festival in years past. “A lot of people put together their best bread, their best fudge, their best whatever, and it’s very delicious. Plus, there are a lot of crafts here. It’s fun to just go by and look at what everybody can make.”
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.