The 48th annual Pioneer Days festival concluded appropriately on Sunday evening with a gospel sing at the Pocahontas County Opera House in Marlinton. For five days, Pocahontas County residents and guests enjoyed the midsummer celebration of community tradition and spirit. Starting on Wednesday, several events were conducted in the Marlinton area, including a carnival, parades, concerts and demonstrations of traditional crafts. The weather remained fine throughout the event, with just a drop or two of rain.
Third Avenue in downtown Marlinton was blocked off for the festival and occupied by a variety of food and crafts vendors. Top-flight musical acts, including the Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys and City Heat, performed on concert stages at City National Bank and Southern States. Shoppers browsed for hidden treasures and hard-to-find items at a flea market at the southern end of Third Avenue.
Several contests were conducted during the festival, including a frog and turtle race; a quilting, crafts and cooking show; a pet show; a horseshoe pitch; a car show and an art/photography contest. A truck and tractor pull was held at Stillwell Park on Saturday, attracting a larger than usual crowd. See next week’s edition of The Pocahontas Times for a list of competition winners.
The Pocahontas County Historical Society started Pioneer Days in 1967 as an effort to preserve the area’s pioneer heritage. In 1977, the non-profit Pioneer Days Association was incorporated to take over event organization and management. The event receives support from the Dramas, Fairs and Festivals Committee; Convention and Visitors Bureau and several local groups and businesses.