10 Most Unique Fall Festivals in SWVSeptember 24, 2014
October is full of fall festivals of all sorts across Southern WV!
Here are 10 of the most unique, and what to do while there:
Rocket Boys October Sky Festival, Oct. 4
Why Go? Trace the history of Homer Hickam’s famous memoir-made-Hollywood-movie about 4 young boys reaching for the skies, building a rocket in their small coal mining town. Meet West Virginia’s most noted authors (including Hickam) on “Writer’s Row” until the big festival rocket launch. At 6pm all activities move to Historic Downtown Beckley for the annual Chili Night in October.
Must-do activity: Pile into a mine car and head underground into the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine passages.
Southern WV Italian Festival, Oct. 4
Why Go? Sample the authentic tastes of Tuscany and flavor of Florence from the Italian heritage tucked away here in the mountains. Hearty meatballs, sweet cannoli and rich sauces galore! You can even buy some to take home.
Must-do activity: Try the delicious treat created by the blissful merger of hearty Italian and Appalachian mountain fare: the pepperoni roll. Gooey cheese and savory pepperoni oils baked into soft, sweet Southern bread. It’s a distinctly WV innovation, but everyone should try one.
Why Go? Browse more than 100 vendors selling antiques, collectibles, crafts and other treasures.
Must-do activity: Uncover a valuable treasure to take home at a steal of a price! Haggle with the best of ’em to work down the best deal.
Pumpkin Harvest Festival, Oct. 4-5
Why Go? Celebrate fall Appalachia style, with a good old fashioned harvest festival. Try pies and other pumpkin treats; browse the arts, crafts and antiques; carve and decorate some pumpkins; or play a few rounds of corn hole. There’s even a quilt show of the traditional cozy craft that keeps us warm in the chilly weather.
Must-do activity: Seed spittin’. Not just on the ground, in the contest! Chuck them as far as you can to win.
32nd Annual Lumberjackin’ Bluegrass Jamboree, Oct. 10-12
Why Go? Catch the best of down-home Southern West Virginia culture with folk tunes and forestry fun. Enjoy twangy bluegrass, wood-splitting, hay rides, campfire tales, clogging, square dancing and more.
Must-do activity: Watch the lumberjack competitions: log rolling, chopping, cross cutting, and even a Jack-and-Jill battle of the sexes in crosscut sawing.
Hatfield McCoy National Trail Fest, Oct. 9-13
Why Go? To hit the trails, of course! Mud pit runs, poker runs, stunt shows, costume parades & more along hundreds of miles of trail. Plus live entertainment, Vegas night, scavenger hunts, hay rides, fireworks and all the usual fall fun. Even the kids can ride the mini motocross track or play on the inflatables.
Must-do activity: Drag racing & mud pit riding! Get dirty and show off your skills (or lack thereof) on wheels!
Bramwell Oktoberfest, Oct. 11
Why Go? Sip all of West Virginia’s best brews, and beers from around the country as they compete for the top prize. Live music and entertainment will set the tone for your Bramwell beer extravaganza.
Must-do activity: Tour Millionaire Row, the street the festival is on. Each of the lavishly designed mansions was once owned by a coal baron during the boom, when Bramwell was home to the most millionaires per capita in the country.
Why go? Feast on the Greenbrier Valley’s finest delicacies and hometown favorite flavors as the historic streets of Lewisburg fill with sampling stations, live music, pumpkin painting, kids’ games, street theater, a climbing wall and more.
Must-do activity: Indulge in some of the crowd favorites, like The General Lewis Inn’s pecan pie or Wolf Creek Gallery’s crab cakes. The famous Greenbrier Resort’s exclusive restaurants will also be serving up gourmet treats.
Bridge Day, Oct. 18
Why Go? Watch hundreds of BASE jumpers leap from the New River Gorge Bridge, as well as rappellers, skydivers, Xpogo stunt team and other extreme sports demonstrations.
Must-do activity: Get in on the action and highline off the New River Gorge Bridge catwalk into the canyon below!
Hinton Railroad Days, Oct. 18, 19, 25 & 26
Why Go? Roll back to the rail boom and relive the rail line’s prime. Find antiques and mementos from the train heyday alongside modern railroad crafts.
Must-do activity: Ride in on the New River Train, a vintage rail car that will leave the station in Huntington, WV, at 8:30 a.m. each day of the festival and steam through the sweeping, scenic New River Gorge to the event and back. Trek through tunnels, past waterfalls and ruins from the abandoned mines.
Which festival are you most excited about?