A weekend of amazing food

September 13, 2018
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Lora Rieman serves chili during last year's 34th annual ChiliFest.

Hurricane remnant rains, rivers and creeks rising or not, we’re steamrolling into the weekend rain or shine.

Get your rain jacket ready because with the official start to autumn just a week away, we’re going to go ahead and get the fall festival parties started with some of the area’s largest fests from the 35th annual Chilifest to the 17th annual Mothman Festival and the 37th annual Barboursville Fall Fest which has two nights of music from national acts.

Here’s a closer look at just a few of the good fests this weekend around the area.

Chilifest — The West Virginia State Chili Championship

Plan to help out Saturday one chili sample at a time as the 35th annual West Virginia State Chili Championship as they will go over the half-million-dollar mark this year in funds raised for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Tri-State.

In its previous 34 years, Chili-Fest has raised $488,000 for the non-profit house that gives families of kids in area hospitals a free place to stay. Last year, the festival raised $73,000.

Join in the fun for a great cause from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday as ChiliFest and its army of chili-cooking teams under 14 giant tents take over 3rd Avenue and Pullman Square, serving up chili for an annual crowd of about 20,000 at Huntington’s largest street festival.

All chili sample tickets are $1 each or six for $5 to get tastes of a variety of chili styles including red, chili verde and homestyle from community teams such as the perennial favorites, The Huntington Professional Firefighters, Coal Miners Breakfast and Apocalypse Chili. There’s also chili from mom-and-pop cooking

teams from as far away as Florida, Georgia, Canada and Michigan, all trying to cook their way into the International Chili Society’s World’s Championship Chili Cookoff in St. Louis.

On the main stage, there’s live music from bluegrassers Idletymes at noon and 1:30 p.m., and country artist Adam Calvert Band at 2:45 and 4:30 p.m. In between the music acts there’s the hot pepper eating contest at 1 p.m., the beer drinking contest at 3 p.m., and the shot and holler contest at 4 p.m.

The Marshall Health Kids Corner events (at 9th Street and Pullman Square) run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Go to www.chilicookoff.com for more information — including the new category Home-Style Chili — and www.chilifestwv.com/ on Huntington’s ChiliFest.

Ron Smith, founder and organizer of ChiliFest, said they’re ready to have fun no matter the weather.

“We did it after Hurricane Hugo, so we can do this one,” Smith said. “It looks like we are going to stay dry on Saturday but then have the weather come in Saturday night into Sunday. That’s what we are hoping for.′

Barboursville Fall Fest

The 37th annual Barboursville Fall Fest started Wednesday and rolls through Saturday, Sept. 15.

Hours for the carnival at Sadler Field will be 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 4 p.m., and 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Cost is $17 on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday (morning), and $20 for Friday and Saturday nights.

The festivities get rolling on the street with the annual parade from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13 on Main Street with a street dance to follow. The annual Fall Fest parade will begin at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13, with a street dance later presented by BRAVO-Live. The parade’s theme is “Fall in Love with Barboursville” and the grand marshals are the Barboursville Little League baseball teams.

Main Stage entertainment include headliners Nashville duo Post Monroe at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, with Lucas Hoge opening up at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, enjoy an evening with Bad Company hits from former lead singer Brian Howe, the English rocker and songwriter who started his career with Ted Nugent before replacing Paul Rodgers as the lead vocalist for Bad Company. Howe takes the stage at 8:30 p.m. with veteran horn band Big Planet Soul opening up at 7 p.m.

Vendor hours will be 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. There will be a Lions Club Pancake Breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday, a BARKer Farms petting zoo from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, a car show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, as well as Bluegrass Championship Wrestling at noon Saturday.

For more information on Barboursville Fall Fest, go online at www.discoverbarboursville.org and https://www.facebook.com/BvilleFallFest.

Big River Dance Fest

Fourth Avenue Arts, 1030 4th Ave., Huntington, hosts its annual Big River Dance Fest that started Wednesday and rolls through Sunday, Sept. 16.

Come and take master classes from dancers from around the country, as well as see them in performance.

At 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, there’s a special screening of films from “Screendance,” including films from artists and dancers from around the U.S., as well as China, Spain, Australia and Germany. See film artists from around the world merge movement and film. Cost is $7.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, there’s a Big River Dance Festival Matinee with talented youths dancing in a variety of genres and choreographic styles. At 7 p.m. Saturday, watch the main event features three top ScreenDance artists as well as live performance artists: Marquez Dance Project (Cleveland, Ohio), Matriarch Dance Company (Greensboro, North Carolina), David Webb (Columbus, Ohio), West Virginia Dance Company (Beckley, West Virginia), Matt Saffron (Morgantown, West Virginia), Re-Dance Group (Chicago), Found Movement Group (Nashville) and Danah Bella Dance Works (Baltimore, Maryland).

Tickets are $20 for Saturday evening. Get tickets in advance at https://squareup.com/store/4th-avenue-arts or at the door.

For more event details, visit https://www.4thavenuearts.org/big-river-dance-festival.

The Mothman — flying high again

Come and celebrate all stories and creatures wild, weird and wonderful at the Moth-man Festival starting at 10 a.m. and running until 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15. Sunday times are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The will be held along Main Street in downtown Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

A wild mix of a paranormal conference, a comic con and a fall street fest, Mothman Festival, now in its 17th year, kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday with a special “Appalachian Monster Night” screening at the State Theater of three “Small Town Monsters,” documentaries. Director Seth Breedlove will be there to talk to the audience about these films that include one on the Mothman and one on the Flatwoods Monster.

On Saturday, there’s a special Fallout 76 fan event that includes some giveaways of official items from video game company Bethesda.

Inside at the State Theater are guest speakers from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday discussing everything from Mothman and Men in Black to Bigfoot, E.T., ghosts and more.

There also will be hayrides and tours of the TNT area (where Mothman was sighted), as well as food and merchandise vendors, the open Mothman Museum, cosplay by Ghostbusters of WV and Ohio, and the Star Wars 501st Legion. Go online at https://www.mothmanfestival.com/ for more information.

South Point Sorghum Fest

The South Point Sorghum Bluegrass Festival is set for Saturday, Sept. 15, on Township Road 161 behind South Point High School. Gates open at 6 a.m. and the festival is expected to last until about 4 or 5 p.m.

Activities lined up feature entertainment by the way of doggers along with bluegrass and gospel bands. There will be food, such as pinto beans and corn bread, apple butter making demonstrations, and wagon rides for children.

The fest is free and open to the public.

For more information, call 740-894-4294 or 740-646-1699.

Grape stompin’ wine fest

Head over to the family-run Kirkwood Winery, 45 Vineyard Lane, Summersville, West Virginia, where they are hosting the 27th annual Grape Stomping Festival on Saturday, Sept. 15. Cost is $20 for those ages 21 and up, $5 for those ages 12 to 20 and free for kids under 12.

Activities include wine tastings, craft shows, vineyard tours, distillery tours, horse and buggy rides, grape stomping competitions and live music throughout the weekend.

Bands playing the fest include Davisson Brothers Band, Confederate Railroad, Will Jones, Long Point String Band, Sammy Murphy, Band Wagon, Krista Hughes Band, Marketa & William Lake and Ed Davisson. Call Kirkwood Winery at 888-498-9463 for more info.


Dr. Mark Zanter, recipient of the 2018 John Marshall University Scholars Award and professor of music at Marshall, will host Electrifest, a festival of new electronic music, from 9-11 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 15, at Black Sheep Burrito and Brews, 279 9th St., at Pullman Square in downtown Huntington.

The event will feature live performances, video and improvisation by artists from the Huntington area and throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

Artists will include Maxwell Tfirn, Andrew Walters, Mark Philips, Aaron Michael Butler, BHZ (Burke-Hall-Zanter), Brigid Burke, Steve Hall, Mark Zanter, and PSP of Huntington.

“The purpose of the event is to provide an opportunity for live performance of electronic music by local and regional artists at an all-ages venue,” said Zanter, coordinator of music theory/composition at Marshall. The event has been organized with the help of Tyler Cooper at Black Sheep Burrito and Brews and is anticipated to become an ongoing local event.

Electrifest is open to all. Tickets will be available at the door for $5.

More information can be found on the Electrifest website: https://electrifest.word-press.com.

Downtown Streetfest

Head down to the first block of Capitol Street in Charleston, West Virginia, for the Downtown Streetfest block party from 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15. There will be dancing in the streets with the River Jam Band featuring tunes from the Motown era through today.

The event coincides with the Kanawha River Navy’s popular Funeral Parade, which will kick off at 5 p.m. at Davis Park. The parade will travel south on Capitol Street (toward the river) and end at Streetfest for the costume awards presentation.

Meet up with friends and family between 5 and 9 p.m. for live music, food and drinks, kids’ activities, pop-ups and much more.

Pawpaw Festival

Head up to Albany, Ohio (this side of Athens), where scenic Lake Snowden hosts the 20th Annual Ohio Pawpaw Festival that runs Sept. 14-16.

This is a festival dedicated to the pawpaw fruit (Asimina triloba) with three days of pawpaw music, food, craft brews, contests and races, art, history, education, sustainable living workshops and activities for the kids. Admission is $15 for a one-day pass or $30 for a weekend pass. Children 12 and under are free. Senior and Military discounts will be given with ID. Overflow festival camping is $15/one-day or $22/weekend. Go online at https://www.ohiopawpawfest.com/ for more information.

Gauley Fest

Join American Whitewater and 5,000 of your coolest river-loving friends at the 35th Annual Gauley Festival as they celebrate the 50th Anniversary of American Scenic Rivers.

The fest starts on Thursday and rolls through noon Sunday, Sept. 16 at Nicholas County Veterans Memorial Park, 19 North in Summersville, West Virginia.

The festival is a showcase for American Whitewater and the top Whitewater vendors in the boating community. It will feature live entertainment, a Whitewater marketplace, raffle, and a silent auction where you can pick up some awesome outdoor gear. Come out for a weekend exciting camaraderie and live entertainment from Dirt Bag Paddlers, DJ Dance Party featuring TerrEnce Young & Allen Rockhouse, River Funk and Chestnut Grove, boat raffles, and a silent auction.

All proceeds from the festival support American Whitewater’s river conservation and access works throughout the nation. Started in 1983 to celebrate the derailment of a hydro-electric project that would have disrupted the flows on the Gauley River, Gauley Fest has grown to become the largest paddling festival in the world.

Go online at https://www.americanwhitewater.org/con-tent/Wiki/aw:events_gauley for more info.

Downtown Throwdown BBQ & Brewfest

This event on Saturday, Sept. 15 at Bicentennial Park (between the Blennerhassett Hotel and the Parkersburg City Building) in downtown Parkersburg, West Virginia, runs from 6-10 p.m. and features various BBQ favorites and craft beers from around the state.

Visit www.downtownpkb.com for more information.

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