A beloved Roane County tradition celebrates its 64th year.

For most of us, October brings visions of pumpkins and fodder shocks. But for the residents of Spencer, in Roane County, it’s all about black walnuts. The 2018 West Virginia Black Walnut Festival begins on Thursday, October 11 this year and lasts until Sunday afternoon, October 14.

Many events take place during the four-day extravaganza. There is a carnival, a 4-H livestock show, and  craft, photo, and art shows to display the local creativity. Fairgoers will enjoy live music free of charge every day. There is also a food court with 25 food vendors—including one who serves pancake breakfasts on Friday and Saturday morning.

Friday is Kids Day and a parade honors the activities local children are involved in, including civic organizations, clubs, and school groups.

During the Grand Parade on Saturday, children’s groups, vintage cars, dozens of high school bands, and many other entries from all over the state walk the route, led by the Black Walnut Festival Queen. As many as 50,000 people have shown up to watch the Grand Parade. “They watch it from second floor windows and businesses, backyards, and everywhere—it’s just a great event,” says Spencer Mayor Terry Williams.

Following the parade, the marching bands compete against one another in the annual Black Walnut Festival Marching Band and Majorette Competition. Later, organizers will crown a Black Walnut Festival Queen for 2019.

“It’s kind of like a giant homecoming, in a way,” Williams says.

304.927.1640, “WV Black Walnut Festival” on Facebook

written by Kristen Uppercue