Soon the smell of fresh, hot kettle corn, funnel cakes and fresh apple butter simmering over an open fire will fill the air, luring students and the community into the West Virginia UniversityMountainlair to celebrate the 71st Mountaineer Week Craft Fair and Quilt Show.
This year’s celebration, themed “Appalachian Foods,” will kick off at 11:30 a.m. Friday (Oct. 19) with an opening ceremony in the Mountainlair Ballroom, featuring keynote speaker Lyn Dotson, a retired WVU and WVU Foundation administrator, and a musical performance by Mountaineer Idol contestants.
Once inside, visitors can enjoy sounds of the hammered dulcimer and other live music, while enjoying homemade food and browsing the unique works of 65 artisans from across the mountain state.
“This annual celebration gives students and other guests the opportunity to discover the historically-rich culture of West Virginia and Appalachia by showcasing music, cuisine, arts and various traditions that make West Virginia unique,” said Sonja Wilson, Mountaineer Week advisor. “Our program has become one of the premier events in West Virginia that encompasses the cultural diversity of Appalachian life.”
In addition to longstanding traditions, this year’s program will feature three new events:
The Harvest Fest Tailgate will take place from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25 at the Erickson Alumni Center prior to the WVU football game against Baylor.
“Crafting with Cooper,” hosted by the West Virginia Black Bears, will take place Saturday, Oct. 27 from 2 – 4 p.m. at the Monongalia County Ballpark.
“Mountaineer Week Extended,” also scheduled Saturday, will take place from 6 – 8 p.m. at Evansdale Crossing and will feature the Davisson Brothers Band.
Other new events include a taste test with Chef Mel from Davis & Elkins College, a demonstration on canning in West Virginia by an Extension agent and a presentation by The Homer Laughlin China Company on Fiesta Ware.
Other Mountaineer Week favorites include:
· Friday night (Oct 19) will feature the annual Country Vittles Dinner Buffet, a Mountaineer Idol elimination round and an annual performance by the Hillbilly Gypsies Bluegrass Band.
· Saturday (Oct. 20), more than 30 educational and entertaining groups will provide fun and games to kids as part of Family Fun Day. Highlights include horse and buggy rides, face painting, balloons, therapy dogs and aviary birds. A wide-range of performers will also take the stage throughout the day.
· Sunday (Oct. 21) will feature the second annual Pepperoni Roll Day from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Mountainlair Food Court. Candace Nelson, author of “The West Virginia Pepperoni Roll,” will be on hand to sign copies of her book while Morgantown businesses compete in the Pepperoni Roll Contest.
· Monday (Oct. 22) at 4 p.m., the annual PRT Cram will be held in front of the Mountainlair.
· Wednesday (Oct. 24) at noon, the beard growing competition winners will be announced in the Mountainlair Food Court.
Other student events throughout the week include the Bob Huggins 3-on-3 basketball tournament and a photo contest presented by All Pro Photography.
The week will conclude with the finale of Mountaineer Idol on Sunday (Oct. 28) at 3 p.m. in the Mountainlair Ballroom.