5 Fall Food Festivals
In West Virginia, fall is synonymous with two things: football and food. This year, take a break from weekend sports and head to some of our state’s small towns to enjoy traditions as old as the hills—festivals that focus on food!
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September 29–October 2
For many decades, the Buckwheat Festival has brought thousands of people from across the region into Kingwood for food, fireworks, music, and more. This year, the 70th Annual Buckwheat Festival will again fill small town streets with the smell of more than 10,000 buckwheat cakes.
The four-day event usually brings in about 100,000 people, according to the festival’s General Chairperson Lee Anne Walker. “People come from everywhere,” she says. “There’s something for everyone to enjoy.”
The free festival is like a reunion for family and friends, as they catch up over parades and exhibits. This year, the festival will have music on Friday—the Davisson Brothers Band and Darryl Worley—and bingo and fireworks on Saturday, not to mention livestock sales, crafts, traditional fair food, pet contests, and more throughout the weekend.
The Buckwheat Festival began in 1938, as farmers began to grow the hardy crop, hoping it would help the local economy after the Great Depression. Buckwheat grew quickly—making it the perfect focus for a countywide celebration near the end of harvest. Buckwheat cakes are made with buttermilk, sweet milk, ground sugar, soda, salt, and baking powder, and left to rise.
For many people, the festival is a longtime tradition. “The festival has always meant a lot to me and my family,” Walker says. “We’re always there.”
—Laura C. Wilcox
Taste Of Our Towns
October 8, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
The theme of this popular festival is centered on not just one particular food, but all of the great food from one of the state’s culinary hot spots—Lewisburg. Taste Of Our Towns, or TOOT, was created as a benefit for Carnegie Hall, the cultural beacon in Greenbrier County. This event gives attendees the chance to sample incredible food from the area’s finest restaurants, businesses, and civic clubs—all in one day. And with a plethora of children’s activities, it is an event perfect for the entire family. Be prepared: Favorites such as The General Lewis Inn’s pecan pie and Wolf Creek Gallery’s crab cakes disappear quickly, and The Greenbrier’s numerous dishes from their exclusive restaurants are also very popular. In order to enjoy the festival of food, you’ll need to purchase tokens because cash is not accepted. Coming from out of town, make sure you check out Hampton Inn’s Special Package. Call 304.645.7917 for more information or to purchase tokens, or visit www.carnegiehallwv.com/toot.
Nicholas County Potato Festival
Mash ’em up, fry ’em, or put them in your soup—everybody loves potatoes! The 41st annual Potato Festival celebrates the importance of agriculture in Nicholas County with plenty of potatoes in Summersville. The three-day event is small-town America at its best with events for the whole family. There’s a potato decorating contest, potato judging and auction, mashed potato and tater tot eating contests, and a spud hunt. On Saturday, Main Street is the location for arts and crafts, food, entertainment, a car show, the grand parade, and beauty pageants—including one for dogs. On Saturday morning, there’s a 5K Spud Run/Walk.
Organized and supported by the City of Summersville, Summersville CVB, and the Summersville Lions Club, the Nicholas County Potato Festival is a true community event.