TALCOTT, WV (WVNS) – The biggest weekend of the year in Talcott is finally here.

John Henry Days are making their long-awaited return in Talcott. The weekend-long festival will feature multiple live music performances, fireworks, a rubber duck-pluck, and a classic car show.

It is the first time Talcott will host John Henry Days in three years after the pandemic forced the festival to be canceled the past two summers.

“It feels really great to be back,” said John Henry Days Committee Volunteer Stephanie Harris. “We missed it the two years we weren’t able to have it. We’ve been busy already today and we haven’t really gotten started. I think people are excited about it.”

The festival kicks off Friday night with a live performance by Everett Lilly and the Songcatchers at John Henry Historical Park.

Harris says John Henry Days serve as a chance for the extended Summers County community to come together and celebrate.

“It’s family time. It’s reacquainting with old friends, meeting new friends. It’s coming home for a lot of people who have, whether they’ve moved away for job opportunities or whatever, it’s coming home to where their roots are,” said Harris.

Just a few hundred yards away from the celebration sits the Great Bend Tunnel, the alleged site of John Henry’s famous battle against the steam drill.

Harris says the story of Henry battling against the machine with nothing but a hammer represents the spirit of Talcott and its residents, even in the midst of hard times.

“The moral of that story is perseverance and hard work,” Harris told 59News. “The myth, the legend, whatever you want to think that it is, is about a man who was trying to save people’s jobs, who was showing that human work is better than machine work.”

A legendary American folk hero worth gathering together to celebrate.