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Buckwheat Festival still a go; officials seek volunteers

KINGWOOD — Short of Gov. Jim Justice or some other entity making it so the Buckwheat Festival can’t happen, the 79th iteration of the tradition will kick off Sept. 30.

“We’re still gonna have the festival,” General Chairman Tarrell Ries said. “At this point if we can have 65,000 people in Mountaineer Field and a lot of other things going on, I don’t see any real reason we can’t have the festival.”

Ries said there’s been a little pushback against holding it, but overall people are in favor. 

2021 is the 80th year since the festival was started, however it’s the 79th festival and royal court since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of 2020’s festival, Ries said.

The decision was made in June to hold the festival this year and the work that normally starts in November was crammed into just a few short months, Ries said. 

He said the biggest challenge this year is finding enough volunteers to work the kitchens serving buckwheat cakes and sausage.

A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to make the Buckwheat Festival successful, Chip Royce, kitchen and dining room chairman, posted on Facebook. That work is also a “great fundraising opportunity for groups such as churches, bands, 4-H clubs, civic organizations and others.”

Groups earn $1.50 per plate they serve and can make $1,200-$1,500 depending on the number of people served, Royce said. About 30 people are needed to work a kitchen, and groups can join together to staff a single kitchen.

Volunteers’ duties include: frying sausage, making buckwheat cakes, taking tickets, serving dinners, waiting and clearing tables, cleaning up at the end of the day and other miscellaneous duties, Royce posted. Instructions and information on how to do what’s needed are provided.

Kitchens are available Oct. 1-3. 

To sign a group up or get more information about volunteering, contact Royce at 304-216-5036 or

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