By: Ashtun Welling
The Mountain State Art & Craft fair; The Appalachian Experience it’s becoming a fall festival instead of a mid-summer event for an effort to connect with a younger audience. It’s the oldest heritage fair in West Virginia. This festival has been around for 52 years usually during the summer. The festival will take place on Sept. 16-18. The benefits of moving the fair to September is we could bring school groups to learn about the state's heritage. Mike Ruben assistant director and his committee have invited schools from around the county to come to the festival on Friday.
“We changed the date so we could have a bigger outcome of volunteers, artists, and participants. Also because of the hot summer weather,” said Ruben.
They hope since they moved the date back into the fall that artists and shoppers aren’t dying in the extreme heat. Also, they hope schools will take the invitation seriously to bring students to learn about the state’s heritage in a creative fun way. To expose the generation of students to the craftsmanship of West Virginia. The date change also helped the availability to volunteers, when they had it in the summer many young adults were busy with sports or taking a vacation. With having the festival in the fall they had more people willing to help out this year than previous years.
“I’m going to the festival because the special person I’m taking seemed very excited about the craft fair this year,” said Seth Hall.
The biggest change to the fair this year they divided Cedar lakes into five sections; Americans, Celtic, Germany, Switzerland, and Italians. These five cultures are the strongest influences on how West Virginia became the beautiful state we love. The admission fees are $7 for adults and $3 for children.