State officials have assured vendors and musicians that Vandalia will revert to its usual schedule next year. However, many attendees on Saturday were not so optimistic.
Adkins said she has noticed that other events, once scaled back, rarely generate the same momentum and crowds.
However, festivalgoers hoped that that would not occur. They agree that celebrations like Vandalia and the Sesquicentennial are crucial to encourage West Virginia pride.
"We need to be proud of the traditions here in West Virginia," Cindy Keely said.
Across town Saturday, a less traditional party was going on.
Kanawha County's fastest dachshunds ruled the Stonewall Jackson Middle School lawn at the seventh annual West Side Wiener Dog Race.
The racetrack was modified to national wiener dog racing standards -- 30 feet long with six lanes -- and race director Libby Ballard, said this year's event was bigger than last year's.
The event added two new race categories, a past-champions division and an "I wanna be a wiener dog" division (which involves dachshund mixes). There also was a fetch competition, more food vendors and a BMX demonstration.
The event, sponsored by West Side Main Street and FestivALL, typically attracts 80 to 100 competing dogs.
Lisa Holstein of Cross Lanes has attended the event with her family since it began seven years ago.
"It's just a fun, family-oriented event," she said. "We'll come back again."
Holstein and her daughter, Grace, watched their dog, Charlie, win the Adult Division I for dogs between 1 and 5 years old.
Charlie is now eligible to go to the national wiener dog championships in Finley, Ohio, in the fall. No winner from the Charleston competition has ever gone to the nationals.
Charlie has an unofficial training regimen to get him ready for the race.
"He is just a very fast dog. The only entertainment he likes is running," Holstein said. "She [Grace] rides her bicycle and he runs beside her, that's how fast he likes to run."
Grace said they run and bike together, "whenever they can."
Brothers Carter and Cameron Kiss, both 11, of Kanawha City, entered their dog, Jazzy, in the race for the first time this year.
"We were just really happy when Jazzy crossed the finish line first and it was really close," Cameron said after one of the preliminary heats. "I was really excited and just so happy. I'm glad to spend this time with my dog."
Reach Laura Reston at laura.res...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5112.
Reach Caitlin Cook at caitlin.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.