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West Virginia
State
Folk Festival


June 21-24, 2007
June 19-22, 2008
June 18-21, 2009

GLENVILLE, WEST VIRGINIA

  

  
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LINK to NEW West Virginia Folk Festival web site.


Find out more about the Folk Festival Dedications.

The 2007 folk festival was dedicated to Lester and Linda McCumbers, musicians.

The 2006 folk festival was dedicated to Frances Schmetzer and Mossy Taggert, Festival long term volunteers.

The 2005 folk festival was dedicated to Phyllis Marks, who entertained the Saturday night Concert audience. She first performed on the concert stage for the festival in 1954 as a young woman. Phyllis turns her blindness into another opportunity to get a laugh and when she sings, it is simply from the heart without pretense.

The 2004 folk festival was dedicated to the late Claude Kemper who carved and painted lifelike birds of West Virginia. His family displayed a collection his birds.

The 2003 folk festival was dedicated to Melvin Wine who passed away in March at age 93. "He was a fixture at the West Virginia State Folk Festival from the 1960s and every year holding together a large jam of musicians on Court Street from his perch on a padded stool." Ginny Hawker as quoted from the Glenville paper.

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ABOUT THE FOLK FESTIVAL
West Virginia has always had a strong hold on its culture - a culture shaped by the intensity of mountain life, and nurtured by strong family ties and an enduring love of the land. Truly Appalachian from border to border, this love is plainly shown in its music, storytelling, dance, ballads and handmade crafts that tell how life used to be, and how it is still found in community centers, churches and homes today.

The West Virginia State Folk Festival celebrates these traditions each year in Glenville (pop. 2000), in the heart of central West Virginia. Special guests include "Belles" in Pioneer costume representing the values and culture of each county. The festival opens on The THIRD THURSDAY OF JUNE and ends with a Sunday service in an old historic church. For many it is a reunion and you are invited to share in the music, crafts, food and fun.

FREE, you can walk through Glenville and hear a beautiful waltz or an exciting dance tune played by fiddles, banjos, guitars and dulcimers. You can join in the playing or singing or square dance to a local old-time band each night on an outdoor platform built in the street.

On the streets you will see old-time musicians just playing the music they love. This has never been a festival of "stars," but musicians do come from all over the world to play, purely for the joy of the music.

The volunteer staff continues each year to dedicate these days to celebrating our unique heritage. We hope that you will join in and sing a song with us, give the square dance a try, or go home determined to learn to play the fiddle. Most of all, we hope you will feel welcome in Glenville.

  • Location
  • Events
  • Committee
  • Oldest?
  • Comments
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    LOCATION

    Glenville (population 2000) is a small college town located in the heart of central West Virginia on the Little Kanawha River. Most of the Festival's activities are on or near Main Street, which is closed to traffic in the evenings. Main Street is located in river valley called the "Glen"...the flat area at the bottom of the hill. Court Street, named for the Gilmer County Courthouse about halfway up the hill, connects Main Street and High Street. Fiddle and banjo contests, and the Concerts, are held at Glenville State College (GSC) which is up the hill on High Street. Yes, these hills are some of those famous West Virginia Hills which maps show as part of the Appalachian mountains.

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    Schedule of Events

    For the most current schedule, check here.
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    COMMITTEE

    For the most up to date information about the current officers and committees check here.
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    OLDEST CONTINUING FOLK FESTIVAL IN USA?

    Glenville has THE oldest continuing folk festivals in the United States as far as we have been able to find out...having been held EVERY year starting in 1950!

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    COMMENTS

    "At the Folk Festival there is no "in crowd" of musicians. I feel a sense of openness here that is different from most music festivals."
    --James Summers, West Virginia Guitar Player

    "For anyone who wants to learn West Virginia's traditional music, Glenville isn't a festival - it's a pilgrimage."
    --Margo Blevin - Dir., Augusta Heritage Workshops

    "It's THE one not to miss, especially if you're into old-time music."
    --John Morris, West Virginia Fiddler

    "It's the best way to preserve the heritage of our area that we have ever had."
    --Rev. Rita Emerson, West Virginia Singer

    "Explaining Glenville is not easy. It's like a religion; if you haven't experienced it' you just can't understand what the believers are so excited ahout.
    --Danny Williams, West Virginia Dulcimer Player

    "Of all the music festivals, Glenville is the one I'll never miss. The jams and the variety of old-time music played there can't be beat."
    --Dave Bing, West Virginia Fiddler

    "My favorite part of the Folk Festival is the evening square dancing. Everyone is welcome, everyone is smiling and no one can sit still - an entire evening of traditional mountain figures."
    --John Lily - Editor, Goldenseal

    "At Glenville, everyone seems to know everybody and to have a good time whether they play music or not."
    --the late Melvin Wine, West Virginia Fiddler & 1991 National Heritage Award

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