Title: Vandalia Gathering
Location: Charleston State Capital Complex and Cultural Center charleston, WV
Link out: Click here
Description: This Memorial Day Weekend, dive into the culture of the Appalachians. The 34th annual Vandalia Gathering, held on the lawns of Charleston, WV’s State Capital Complex and Cultural Center, is a multi-day festival celebrating the music, food, and crafts of Mountain State history. Everything West Virginia, all in one place.
This yearly, anticipated event pays homage to the ethnic heritage and artistic traditions of the state, with a weekend of concerts, contests, and concentrated frivolity. Music and crafts are among the highlights of the festival, with craft demonstrations, live performances, and impromptu jam sessions happening all day long. In addition, food stalls are scattered all over the capital grounds, selling traditional and ethnic foods typical to Appalachian heritage (Irish, Scottish, Morris, Swiss, etc.), which you are welcome to sample or indulge.
More than music and cuisine, the Vandalia Gathering also brings to life the international dance heritage of West Virginia, with demonstrations and performances ranging from backcountry flatfooting to Celtic jigs. Audiences are invited to clack their heels and join in. And with so many different musical styles strumming all around you—from folk fiddles, to bluegrass banjos, to Irish harps and guitars—the Vandalia Gathering is sure to get your feet tapping.
Concerts and performances are happening all weekend, so be sure to check the events schedule before you come. My personal favorite is the annual Liars Contest. This must-see competition brings together the best yarn-weavers, storytellers, and chronic fibbers in the state in order to see who can spin the best on-the-spot tall tale. The winner is awarded the coveted Golden Shovel (three guesses as to why). Past performances can be found on NPR’s website, but the competition is much better in person (and I wouldn’t lie to you about that).
The Vandalia Gathering is sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and anyone who attends will feel like an honorary Appalachian. The art culture of West Virginiais a living experience. Not done on canvas, but performed and interacted. It is connected to our way of life, an integral part of it.
So please, come and live it with us.
Start Date: 2010-05-28
End Date: 2010-05-30