Craft bash: Annual Mountaineer Week artisan fair opens Friday at Mountainlair

MORGANTOWN — WVU will open its 71st annual Mountaineer Week celebration of Appalachian heritage Friday with the always-popular three-day craft fair, among other festivities.

“Mountaineer Week is one of the most beloved programs and traditions on the campus of West Virginia University,” Sonja Wilson, Mountaineer Week advisor, said. “As such, the centerpiece of Mountaineer Week is the Craft Fair that started in 1972 as part of the ‘celebration of the state of West Virginia.’ The Craft Fair features traditional and contemporary crafts of Appalachia with over 65 artisans from West Virginia and neighboring states. We hope that everyone will visit our Mountaineer Week Craft Fair this year and take a piece of West Virginia home for the holidays.

This year, visitors can expect to see seasoned favorites, along with some fresh faces.

“The Craft Fair will have some new vendors this year in addition to the classics that have graced the show for decades,” craft fair adviser Jason Burns said. “New additions, such as Chef Larry Roby’s BBQ and Lyn Halapy’s slate prints will stand alongside longtime vendors such as Thistledew Farms and Penn & Company. In addition, a new historical exhibit on Pearl S. Buck, West Virginia’s Nobel Prize-winning author, will be part of the celebration of Appalachia’s culture and heritage.”

The craft fair is open from noon-8 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

The Mountaineer Week Quilt Show, presented by Country Roads Quilt Guild, will be on display in the Mountaineer Room.

More than 25 educational and entertaining groups will provide fun and games Saturday as part of Family Fun Day. Highlights include face painting, pioneer games, seed-planting activities, therapy dogs from Hearts of Gold, a puppet show with Morgantown Fire Department, dulcimer instruction and more.

Mountaineer Week began in 1947 as just one night of school spirit surrounding the WVU football game against the University of Kentucky. Through the years, it has evolved into a multi-day festival celebrating all aspects of West Virginian culture.

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