Travel Notes: Sept. 8, 2013
Gauley water release
SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va. -- The Gauley River rafting season began Sept. 6 with the first Summersville Dam water release of the season, according to the West Virginia Division of Tourism.
Starting this weekend and every weekend through Oct. 19-20, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will unleash thousands of gallons of water from the Summersville Dam in Nicholas County. These events create some of the most intense whitewater rafting east of the Mississippi, transforming the Gauley River into the "Beast of the East" with more Class IV and V rapids than any other river in the Eastern U.S.
"Rafters both locally and around the country look forward to this time of year, and I am especially excited about the midweek releases," said Bobby Bower, executive director of West Virginia Professional River Outfitters.
In addition to this weekend, the water release dates are scheduled as follows: Sept. 13-30, Oct. 1-6, 12-13 and 19-20 (Note: Oct. 19 is Bridge Day, but there is still rafting that day.)
Visit www.wvtourism.com or contact 800-CALLWVA for more information on whitewater rafting opportunities and outfitters.
Squire Parsons concert
DAWSON, W.Va. -- Squire Parsons, a native of West Virginia and author of "Sweet Beulah Land" as well as many more gospel songs, performs in concert 7 p.m. Sept. 13 at Meadow Grove Baptist Church on Dawson-Springdale Road, Dawson, Greenbrier County. The concert has no admission fee, but a love offering will be taken. Call 304-392-9818.
Mary Ingles weekend
BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. -- The Legacy of Mary Ingles, in its 25th year, is an 18th-century living history weekend Sept. 12-15 at Beech Fork State Park.
Visitors are introduced to the lifestyle of pioneering ancestors through demonstrations and the portrayal of life in 1755 that Mary Ingles lived and encountered. The weekend is presented by the Mary Ingles Trails Association, a volunteer organization.
The four-day event features interpreters and tradesmen and tradeswomen staged in primitive encampment settings. The interpreters engage in conversation with event attendees with ongoing action and work life typical of the 18th century. The site is handicap-accessible.
Re-enactors focus on the importance of trade, animal care, spinning and weaving, music, salt making, edible native plants, medicinal native plants, finger weaving, blacksmithing, candle making, hunting skills, tomahawk throwing, plant dyes, toys and games and more.
"It's been 258 years since Mary Ingles made her trek through the Kanawha Valley and New River area, and her remarkable story is woven throughout each day of the primitive encampment as well as our current rural Appalachian culture," said Beech Fork State Park Superintendent Matt Yeager.
The event is open to the public without charge at Beech Fork State Park, near Barboursville and Huntington. Visit www.beechforksp.com or call 304-528-5794.
ST. GEORGE, W.Va. -- Camp Horseshoe's Fall Quilt Retreat takes place near St. George, Tucker County, Sept. 17-21.
Quilters will be able to participate in projects including crazy patch Christmas stockings, instructed by Deb Davis, of Quilts and More in Victor; diamond rail fence quilt, taught by Judy Harder and Rhonda Braham, of Kingwood; quilted mittens and the Garden Party quilt pattern, demonstrated by Ann Kessel, of Shepherdstown; and Marie Sines, of Oakland, Md., will show how to make a big bag "to carry our goodies for show and tell," said event facilitator Mary Smith.
For a brochure, contact Smith at 304-478-2899 or visit www.yla-youthleadership.org/HeritageArts.html. Registration deadline is Sept. 10.
Chinese Moon Festival
HILLSBORO, W.Va. -- Celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival at the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace from noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 15. Events include Chinese food, presentations on different aspects of Chinese culture, mahjongg lessons, as well as children's crafts and games.
Presenters include Chinese language teacher Guanquin Wang, tai chi instructor Augustus Soldano, herbalist Shannon Beatty and students from the West Virginia University Chinese Student Association.
Also appearing will be actress Stephanie Bachman, portraying Pearl S. Buck. She will discuss Buck's legacy of humanitarian work, including founding the first international adoption agency, and read from some of her works. The event is free and open to all. For more information, call 304-653-4430 or visit www.pearlsbuckbirthplace.com.
Nicholas Potato Festival
SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va. -- The 44th Nicholas County Potato Festival will take place Sept. 13 and 14 in downtown Summersville.
The festival celebrates potato farming, a significant part of Nicholas County's heritage. Activities and attractions include agricultural displays, potato auction, amusement rides, food, arts and crafts, entertainment, pet pageant, parade, car show and games.
Visit www.nicholascountypotatofestival.com or call 866-716-0448 for additional information.
Coal Dust Run/Walk
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. -- The second annual Coal Dust 5K Run/Walk begins at 7 p.m. Sept. 14 in downtown Williamson.
The race celebrates the mining heritage and history of the Tug Valley and West Virginia. Throughout the 3.1-mile course, racers will be doused from head to toe in "coal dust."
The three rules for the event are: wear white, have fun and finish looking like a coal miner.
For more information and to pre-register, visit www.facebook.com/tugvalley/ or call 304-235-5240.