Thousands attend Autumn Harvest/RoadKill Cook-off

Long lines formed in front of the RoadKill Cook-off booths Saturday as visitors waited to taste the culinary creations found only at this one-of-a-kind festival. For more photos from the event, turn to page 10. Photo courtesy of Tom Walker
Long lines formed in front of the RoadKill Cook-off booths Saturday as visitors waited to taste the culinary creations found only at this one-of-a-kind festival. For more photos from the event, turn to page 10. Photo courtesy of Tom Walker

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer
The streets of Marlinton were lined with vendors selling food and wares during the Autumn Harvest Festival Saturday.

Individuals sold their handmade items, organizations sold tickets and goodies to raise funds for goodwill trips, and civic groups and small businesses sold both sweet and savory treats for adventurous palettes.

The crowd enjoyed longtime favorites like the Marlinton Lions Club’s pork barbecue sandwiches, New Hope Lutheran Church’s baked potatoes, Marlinton Woman’s Club’s kettle corn and the Marlinton Rotary’s pork rinds, as well as newcomers like the First Baptist Church Huntersville’s polish sausage sandwiches and Pocahontas County High School FBLA club’s cotton candy, made fresh on-site.

Mixed in among the food vendors were crafters selling jewelry, primitives, pottery, home décor  and more.

First timer, Courtney Horner, of Hot Springs, Virginia, sold an array of pottery including mugs, trays and bowls.

“I wanted to see the event for myself, and I like to share my pottery with people, so I thought it would be a good way to get out there,” Horner said. “Since probably I was in kindergarten, I just remember I wanted to do something with art forever, so I do this, and I also teach.”

Horner said that she definitely plans to return for the Autumn Harvest Festival in the future because she enjoyed the atmosphere and introducing people to her style of pottery. 

Along with newcomers and veteran vendors, several Pocahontas County artists returned “home” to share their creations.
Hillsboro native, Sharlie McComb Meade, now of Lexington, Kentucky, was joined by friend Brandy Cassell, of Marlinton, to sell her jewelry. Meade makes bracelets, necklaces and baby bandana bibs.

Also returning was Cole Mahaffey, formerly of Marlinton, now of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who brought an antique art into the modern world.

A photographer, Mahaffey has studied the art of tin type photography and had a booth where he took photos of customers and printed the image on a piece of treated tin.

“I started with ambrotypes first – those are on glass,” he said. “I started those about four years ago and then I kind of learned tin types. I took some more workshops to learn how to make the chemistry and just ran from there.”

Working in an outdoor studio, there are some things a photographer cannot be prepared for, including weather, temperature and the number of people in the photo.

“I wasn’t prepared for a big group, so it’s not the exposure I wanted one hundred percent,” he said as he developed an image. “That’s the thing about this process, it’s the imperfections that make the process what it is.”

While many of the vendors were hoping to make a profit for themselves, several non-profits were raising funds for projects and organizations.

The Hillsboro Senior Center was selling tickets for a chance to win a handmade quilt with panels depicting state parks of West Virginia.

The PCHS Spanish Club sold walking tacos to raise funds for an upcoming trip to Spain, and Boy Scout Troop #33 and the PCHS FBLA were raising funds for future trips, as well.

Four individuals – Karen Larson, Mary Walkup, Keri Dunz and Max Dunz – were selling baked goods and treats for an upcoming mission trip to Guatemala.

With food, crafts and good deeds, all that was left was entertainment, including a special performance by the Pride of Pocahontas County Warrior marching band. The band performed its field show at the Marlinton Elementary School football field before marching over to Third Avenue where it performed several numbers for the crowd.

Winners ~ 2016 West Virginia RoadKill Cook-off

First place – $1,200 prize
Winner – East Meets West Virginia for their “One Ton Won Tons: Smashed Pota”doe” Patties, Chinese Chef Boar R-D Noodles, T-Boned Elk over Grits, Thumper Bumper over Grits.”
Roadkill feature: Venison, Boar, Rabbit and Elk
Head chefs: Janet Mitchell and Paul Wong
Assistant cooks: Mark Mitchell, Patrick Mitchell, James Mitchell, Anne Mitchell and Mark Hengemihle.

Second place – $600 prize
Winner – T’Ain’t EZ Bein Green for their “Rest in Bits and Pieces – 6 Ft. Under Greener Pastures.”
Roadkill feature: Venison, Duck, Chukar, Pheasant and Quail.
Head chefs: Patty Normandin and Alicia Kuhn
Assistant cooks: Norm Normandin, Dan Kuhn, Nickie Kuhn and Chad Draine.

Third place – $300 prize
Winner – You Hit ‘em… We Spit ‘em for their “I Wanna Iguana Nachos.”
Roadkill feature: Iguana
Head chef: Cher Megasdo
Assistant cook: Greg Todd

Showmanship – The Coal Hollow Brothers

People’s Choice – T’Ain’t EZ Bein Green

Award plaques were provided by Pendleton Community Bank, Snowshoe Moun- tain Resort, The Dairy Queen and The Men’s Shop, NRAO Science Center and the Greater Greenbrier Community Foundation.

more recommended stories