Augusta Festival takes place in Elkins Aug. 9-11 - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Augusta Festival takes place in Elkins Aug. 9-11

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The Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College will celebrate the conclusion of its five-week summer session of classes with a weekend full of entertainment and crafts, all in true Appalachian tradition.

Highlighting the festivities will be the annual Augusta Festival, which historically draws thousands to Elkins City Park, and the new Augusta Festival Concert headlining Grammy award-winning bluegrass artist Dr. Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys and featuring The Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers and The Musicianeers.

Events begin Friday, Aug. 9 at 8 p.m. with a contra and square dance in the Augusta Dance Pavilion on the College campus. Music will be provided by Dance Week musicians and Great Bear Trio with Will Mentor & Friends.

On Aug. 10, visitors to the Augusta Festival in Elkins City Park can expect a day filled with entertainment from local and visiting musicians, dancers and storytellers. Juried crafters from throughout the state will display their wares and demonstrate their skills. The festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. In addition, a shape note singing workshop will be conducted from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in Robbins Chapel.

Crafter booths will be set up throughout the park offering items such as jewelry, pottery, milk soap, pet food, quilts and other textiles. Food vendors also will be available.

Performers will showcase their talents on three stages, while Everything Augusta tent will feature stories, tunes and dancing on the Sycamore Street side of the park. The Kids Tent set up near the main pavilion will offer art, music and movement.

Among local talent scheduled to perform on the Main Stage (large pavilion) are the West Virginia Highlanders of Davis & Elkins College; Carrie and Michael Kline; Gerry Milnes and Dave Bing; Eden Macadam-Somer; Val Mindel, Emily Miller and Jesse Milnes; Scott Prouty, Ann Hartman and Josh Wanstreet; Augusta American Vernacular Dancers; Dog and Gun; and Kristen Andreason.

At the Shelter Stage, visitors will have a chance to "Meet the Masters!" through interviews with local and regional artists.

Participatory dance, vocal and rhythms will take place at the Workshop Stage featuring Irish dance, flatfooting, hip hop, percussion and dance, whistling, partner dancing and more.

Youths visiting the Kids Tent will enjoy craft projects such as face painting, paper bag puppets and yucca dolls, along with various instrument workshops.

Musical entertainment continues throughout the evening with the Augusta Festival Concert featuring bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium on the D&E campus. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the show begins at 6 p.m. with opening act The Musicianeers – Joe Newberry, Dave Bing, Gerry and Jesse Milnes and Joebass DeJarnette. At 7 p.m., Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers take the stage. Dr. Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys perform at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $20 general admission and free to Augusta participants of Week 5 as well as for D&E faculty, staff and students. Tickets can be purchased at www.itickets.com, at the Augusta Store in Myles Center for the Arts, by calling 1-800-965-9324 or at the door.

A contras and squares dance in the Augusta Dance Pavilion with music by Bob Smakula and Denice Reese & Friends, and callers Will Mentor & Friends will take place immediately after the concert. Admission is free to those attending the concert. General admission is $6.

The weekend wraps up on Aug. 11 with a gospel sing-along led by Flawn Williams & Friends at 10:30 a.m. in Robbins Chapel.

While the festival caps off the summer session, it isn't an end to Augusta Heritage Center events scheduled throughout the year. Pickin' in the Park continues at 7 p.m. every Wednesday in Elkins City Park as weather permits, takes a break for the Mountain State Forest Festival, and then moves to Myles Center for the Arts lobby. On Sept. 7, Augusta will sponsor the WV Open Fiddle, Banjo and Flatfoot Dance Contest as part of the Randolph County Fair at Camp Pioneer. Old-Time Week is planned for October 27 to November 1, followed by the Old-Time Fiddlers' Reunion Nov. 1-3.