Fill Up on Good Food and Mountain Heritage at the 77th Annual Preston County Buckwheat Festival
Fall is here, the leaves are changing, and the 77th Annual Preston County Buckwheat Festival arrives September 27-September 30, 2018. An annual tradition since 1938, the festival has drawn hungry locals to Kingwood, WV, for generations. The Buckwheat Festival is known for its rural feel. It celebrates local achievements in categories such as arts and crafts, livestock, baked goods, and agriculture. However, most famously, are its namesake buckwheat pancake dinners. Covered in butter and maple syrup and served with a side of deliciously seasoned fresh and local pork sausage, this meal is a real Appalachian treat.
Deep Roots is the Heart of Festival
The Buckwheat Festival is rooted in Depression-era harvest celebrations. Although much has changed since its early days, you’ll feel as you’ve been transported back to an earlier era at the fairgrounds. After you fill up on pancakes and sausage, seems like a good time to head over to the Cow Palace, where local farmers bring their market livestock to compete. Steers, goats, lambs, and pigs are on display after the judging is over.
Appalachian Exhibits and Crafts Galore
The Fall is peak season for prize-winning vegetables, canned goods, pies, pickles, and flowers. Even traditional Appalachian crafts such as needlepoint, wood crafts, and quilts will be on exhibit at the festival. The exhibitions are fascinating to anyone with interest in Appalachian heritage, honoring homesteading skills straight from the surrounding hills. Many displays are created by masters of their craft, but there are always sections set aside for children’s creations, demonstrating how this legacy is passed down to the next generation.
Over 50 Artisans to Showcase Goods at Festival
After you’ve checked out the wide variety of crafts on display, you might be in the mood to shop for a souvenir. Over 50 artisans sell their wares in several areas throughout the festival. These vendors hail from West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and as far south as Georgia. If you’re lucky, you might even see a craftsperson demonstrate their skills. Check out this entire list of 2018 vendors. Most importantly- don’t forget to pick up a bag of locally milled buckwheat flour or pancake mix!
There are parades scheduled for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, so make sure you catch one while you’re there. The Fireman’s Parade, School Day Parade, and Farmer’s Day Parade will wind through the streets of Kingwood, entertaining all ages. Watch WVU’s marching band, the Pride of West Virginia, perform on the football field to round out your weekend. A noteworthy must-see, on your way out of town, stop by the Cheat River, to absorb the beautiful fall colors around the Buckwheat Festival fairgrounds.
Festival to Offer Something for Everyone
Celebrating traditional homesteading skills such as agriculture, crafting, food preservation, and animal husbandry, the Buckwheat Festival is a must-see for anyone interested in Appalachian culture. Entrance is free, and parking nearby usually runs around $5 for the day. Bring a sturdy pair of boots, as the fairgrounds can get muddy, and plenty of cash to bring home a souvenir. Find more information, a detailed schedule of events, and more history about the Buckwheat Festival at its official website.