The Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College will return to Elkins City Park for its annual festival celebrating dance, craft and music. The event, set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 24, will include craft demonstrations and classes, a food truck mall, musical jams and more than 40 craft vendors showcasing the best artistry in the state.
Classes include instruction in botanical watercolors and paper making, along with a program for kids about making art from their natural surroundings. Highlighting the art sessions will be a community mural project hosted by Michael Doig Art. Participants will use original Doig stencils to create works that will later be displayed in downtown Elkins. Donations are encouraged at the time of the classes to help with supplies.
Davis & Elkins alumnus Jacob Currence and some of The Old Brick Playhouse apprentices will entertain between the classes with a series of puppet shows.
“We wanted to feature the wealth of talent found in West Virginia, particularly right here in Elkins,” said Seth Young, Augusta’s executive director.
Music will also be a big part of the festival with master artists leading bluegrass, classic country and old-time jams. Musicians include Margo Blevin, Gerry Milnes, Ginny Hawker, Val Mindel, Annie Neeley, Jeremy Wanless and Ramie Bennett. The sessions are sponsored by Elkins-Randolph County Tourism and donations will be accepted.
“We want to provide a highly interactive way to experience traditional music,” Young said. “The day will be filled with both open jams and lead jams. This will be an excellent opportunity to join in with an instrument or a song or just sit back and listen to some fantastic music.”
Craft vendors will also be showing their wares during the festival. The region’s best potters, jewelers, woodworkers, blacksmiths and crafts folk will all be in attendance.
Augusta will also host two nights of a block party, each beginning at 8 p.m., in front of El Gran Sabor on Kerens Avenue in downtown Elkins. The outdoor concerts will take place on the street in a fenced-in Big Timber garden.
On Friday, July 23, the block party will feature The Hooten Hollars, a high-energy American roots band from Columbia, Missouri. On Saturday, July 24, a honk-tonk dance will feature Augusta’s all-star classic country revue – Miss Tess, Ginny Hawker, Emily Miller, Jesse Milnes, Leon Kasdorf and Thomas Bryan Eaton. Admission to the concerts is $10 per night.
For more information about Augusta, visit AugustaArtsandCulture.org or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.