LAUGHTER, CHATTER, GOOD food, drink and prizes made for a wonderful evening at the Pocahontas County Opera House Friday. Opera House board member Shenda Smith Hayhurst manned the dessert table. Pictured, l to r: Hayhurst shares a laugh with Opera House director Brynn Kusic and Woman’s Club Membership Chair Laura Dean Bennett. J. Graham photo

“It was the best of times…”
Volunteers, supporters and fans of the Pocahontas County Opera House were treated to a gala evening Friday for the preview of upcoming shows for the 17th annual performance season.
A village came together to make the evening fundraiser a success.
Members of the opera house board, the Marlinton Woman’s Club and a host of others contributed to the fine spread of heavy hors d’oeuvres, desserts and drinks.
In addition, drawings for door prizes were interspersed with laughter and conversation.
Lucky winners went home with tickets to Mountain Stage and Lewisburg’s Carnegie Hall and Greenbrier Valley Theatre, as well as gift certificates from Mitchell Chevrolet, The Fiddlehead, Locust Hill Pub and the Asylum Restaurant.
A silent auction was conducted throughout the even-ing and attendees stalked their favorite items, which included several musical instruments – even a dulcimer – donated by David Holmes, of Hillboro.
But, the main event was the unveiling of next season’s performers, a line-up that was determined from several meetings and CD reviews – a process which resulted in more suggestions than one season could accommodate. Such is the draw and importance of this town’s cultural center for the arts.
The season begins July 21 with bluegrass music by Harmony Creek Junction and concludes April 21 with folk music by John McCutcheon.
Other high quality performances include Greenbrier Valley Theatre’s Marvelous Wonderettes: “Dream On;” The Black Mountain  Bluegrass Boys; Music in the Mountains Festival, celebrating the Mountain Music Trail; the annual Hammons Family Musical Heritage Celebration;  Classic Country with Hearts Gone South; Americana band Dana Louise and the Glorious Birds; Gypsy Swing with Velvet Caravan, music from around the world with Andes Manta; the ever-popular Opry Night; old-time  music with the Bing Brothers, featuring Jake Krack; rock, violin and fiddle with Adam DeGraff, and Celtic music from Lone Raven.
Season tickets are available at pocahontascountyoperahouse.org or may be purchased at any event.