Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 5, 2012

Fall festival fun — Plenty of events this weekend

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— t’s shaping up to be another big fall festival weekend for the region. Area residents looking for something to do should consider attendance at one or more of these popular gatherings.

The fun gets underway today with the 18th annual Southern West Virginia Italian Festival at the Bluefield City Auditorium. The gathering opens this evening with a special dinner and dance. The activities continue on Saturday with a full-day of fun and great food at the city auditorium.

The festival will feature live entertainment, including Willie Nelson tribute artist Casey Ferguson and friends, as well as crafts, treats, vendors and plenty of Italian pasta sure to please all tastes.

Proceeds from the festival support Lodge 2631 programs, including the college scholarships the lodge presents annually.

Also Saturday is the 17th annual Bramwell Oktoberfest. The festival runs from 2 to 8 p.m. in historic downtown Bramwell. Dozens of area musical acts will be performing at the celebration, which includes good food, fellowship and micro- and home-brewed beers. Visitors to the new Pocahontas segment of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail are expected to participate in this year’s Oktoberfest as well.

Also Saturday is the second annual Food Festival at  St. Mary’s Orthodox Church off of U.S. Route 460 in Bluefield. The festival gets underway at 11 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m. It includes authentic foods from Lebanon, Greece, Eastern Europe (Slavic, Polish Czech, Hungarian), Ethiopia and Romania. Father Mark Tyson will host tours of the church during the festival, while Daniel Adams along with Rick Olivarez and Court Stewart will present Slavic music and other ethnic favorites.

The Seed To Soul Festival 2012 also is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Mansion at Fort Chiswell. Admission to the grounds and the entertainment is free. Events include the grand opening of the new Key Ingredients restaurant; a rock climbing wall; copper kettle apple butter making; local artisans and growers; a wine bar with tasting; mansion tours; games; horse and buggy rides; and live musical performances.

Also Saturday, the Rocket Boys of McDowell County will be landing in Raleigh County for the debut of the Beckley-edition of the annual October Sky Festival. A mainstay in the small Coalwood community for more than a decade, Rocket Boy Homer Hickam created a stir earlier this year when he decided to move the popular fall gathering to Beckley. But everything seems to be coming together very nicely for a bigger October Sky Festival in Raleigh County. The weekend activities will be centered around the Exhibition Coal Mine in the New River Park, and will conclude with a bus ride to Coalwood. So in a way, McDowell County is still a part of the festival — in a somewhat smaller way.

So regardless of whether you travel to Bluefield, Bramwell, Beckley or Max Meadows, take time to get out this weekend and enjoy some great fall festival fun.