The Best of West Virginia Awards 2013

The votes are in! Readers from all corners of the state have weighed in on their favorite eateries and entertainment venues, celebrities and care providers, shopping spots and scenic escapes.


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Arts & Entertainment


photographed by aampd photography and nikki bowman


Mountain State Forest Festival Grand Feature Parade

Feared and respected by marching bands across the state, the Forest Festival winds on for more than two hours as it snakes over two miles of downtown Elkins. Mountains coated in leaves at peak color surround the parade route. With more than 100 entries participating each year, it’s no wonder thousands of people bring lawn chairs and settle in each October to watch the fun.




Every June, West Virginia’s capital city becomes a work of art for 10 days. Music, dance, theater, and visual art displays crowd Charleston’s streets as nearly 50,000 people meander through the city, taking it all in. Every corner of Charleston’s is included, and mini-festivals like Wine and All That Jazz, Smoke on the Water Chili Cook Off, and Blues, Brews, & BBQ share the spotlight, providing a nearly endless supply of entertainment.



Ron Hinkle

Just outside the small town of Buckhannon, down a long gravel road, Ron Hinkle blows glass the old-fashioned way on his family farm. He uses traditional techniques to create his gems, but his designs are anything but conventional. The gallery next to his studio is full of original designs in vivid colors. And West Virginians aren’t the only ones who appreciate Ron’s work. He has been commissioned to create for the White House Christmas Tree and the Olympics.

Sago Road, Buckhannon, WV 26201; 304.472.7963;


West Virginia State Museum

Recently renovated and remodeled, The West Virginia State Museum will make you proud to be a West Virginian. The museum is arranged on a time continuum, beginning in The Coal Forest millions of years ago and continuing along to present day. With more than 60,000 artifacts in 26 discovery rooms, including George Washington’s telescope and Daniel Boone’s rifle, visitors emerge hours later from the self-guided tour in a state of awe.

The Culture Center, Building Nine, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston, WV 25305; 304.558.0220


The Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences

Acts that inspire and entertain perform at the Maier Foundation Performance Hall at The Clay Center. Between the Woody Hawley Concert Series and the Clay Center Presents Performances, many popular entertainers have come to Charleston—Diana Ross, The Beach Boys, and the Doobie Brothers in 2013 alone. Dance and theater acts also grace the stage. The Clay Center is also home to the phenomenal West Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

One Clay Square, Charleston, WV 25301; 304.561.3570;

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