By now, I imagine many are asking themselves,  “Where did summer go?”

One thing is for sure. The days are getting shorter and the evenings cooler. That means it is time for the 2018 WV RoadKill Cook-off and Autumn Harvest Festival.

 I remember when my son, Rusty, was exiting the Air Force. He was being discharged at Colorado Springs, Colorado. We were going to help him move home. Going across Kansas, we heard a radio ad describing the RoadKill Festival in Marlinton, West Virginia. That was 23 years ago, and the festival continues to grow.

According to this year’s website, “The West Virginia RoadKill Cook-off is one of the region’s most fun and exciting annual events. In years past, major news outlets – the Food Network, the Travel Channel and the Discovery Channel – have all covered this somewhat offbeat festival.

“Programs like All-American Festivals, Fest Quest and The Today show have all done segments on our county’s unique event. The authors of the best-selling series Weird U.S. have recognized the zaniness of the RoadKill Cook-off!

“But, if you’ve ever wanted to taste exotic dishes like squirrel gravy over biscuits, teriyaki-marinated bear or deer sausage, then, Marlinton is the place to be.

Your plans for this weekend should include coming to Marlinton Friday and Saturday.

Friday night is the Rockin’ Redneck Square Dance and Saturday is the RoadKill Cook-off!

“Bring your family, bring a friend and their family.”

But, if all you think about is work, I have an idea for you, too.  I want to encourage every public business and certainly, every hospitality business in our county to think about investing one hour of training for each of your employees. Before another springtime, every employee who may come in contact with the traveling public, while providing your business’ service, should receive at least one hour of hospitality training. An investment in your employees can provide a greater welcoming service for your customer and is an investment in the future success of your business. Contact Cara Rose at the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau for times and places of Hospitality Training.

The IMBA designated Snowshoe/Highland Ride Center (expected in summer 2019) is going to change the amount of tourist traffic and the needs of certain visitors. For instance: if you have a motel or a bed and breakfast, do you know what being Mountain Biker friendly is about?

The level of your future business may depend on it.

Work and working together are key elements in reaching our potential. This includes bringing city departments together as well as different community groups and resources. What works on a personal level may not work so well on a community level. Yes, we must take care of self before we can care for others. But, finding a niche that benefits all can be the best of both worlds. Everyone doing their own thing has kept us from moving forward at the pace we need. Working together can move our towns and county forward, so our sons and daughters don’t have to move away.

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