CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- This year's Vandalia Gathering at the Capitol Complex is going to be a smaller one.
The annual festival is being scaled back to focus more attention on the state's 150th birthday celebration.
The state Division of Culture and History said the festival, normally held over three days, will be conducted May 24 and 25 only.
Culture and History spokeswoman Caryn Gresham said the schedule of events also will be smaller. Only a few food vendors will be onsite and the festival won't feature any craft vendors or dancing.
Concerts and musical competitions and an annual quilting competition will still be held. Those will take place inside the Culture Center or its plaza instead of on the Capitol grounds.
Gresham told the Charleston Daily Mail that other mainstays from the Vandalia Gathering will be moved to West Virginia's sesquicentennial celebration June 20-22 at the Capitol Complex.
"It would have been really hard for us to do both," she said. "This is a unique situation for us. You don't have a big statehood celebration every year. We just tried to find a way to keep Vandalia and do the core thing, which is the music, and participate with the sesquicentennial."
Gresham said some craft vendors have expressed their disappointment because they have committed to other events during the June sesquicentennial event.
The cutbacks are temporary. "Next year, Vandalia will be right back," Gresham said.
West Virginia turns 150 years old on June 20.
"We are excited to bridge the traditions of the Vandalia Gathering with the festivities of our statehood celebrations," said Division of Culture and History Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith. "Appalachian music has played an important role in our state's history, and we believe this will be a great addition to the birthday celebrations."