The Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce will bring the annual Appalachian Arts & Crafts Festival — operating in conjunction with the Appalachian Festival — back to the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center for its 55th year this weekend.
Ellen Taylor, president and CEO of the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce, said the fair is a great fundraising opportunity for the chamber. She said 23 years ago chamber board members wanted to expand the smaller fair into a citywide festival, resulting in the newer and larger Appalachian Festival.
“The Arts and Crafts Fair on Friday, Aug. 23, through Sunday, Aug. 25, is what we put on every year as an organization,” she said. “All the events are together under the umbrella that is the Appalachian Festival, but everyone is in charge on their own event.”
The fair will be at the Convention Center at 200 Armory Drive and will be open Friday, Aug. 23, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 24, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 25, from noon to 5 p.m.
Inside the convention center, over 100 exhibitors will display, demonstrate and sell their handcrafted treasures, trinkets and antiques. There also will be several food vendors around the center selling food such as kettle corn, steak sandwiches and more.
Each day the fair will host live entertainment with the Lost Cannon Bluegrass Band playing at 2 p.m. on Friday, George Whitaker performing at noon and 3 p.m. on Saturday and Dave Runion performing at noon and 3 p.m. on Sunday.
“It’s definitely a festival for family entertainment,” Taylor said. “It’s also an important economic generator for the community. It draws in visitors and also gives people in the community something different to do. People come back year after year and always have a great time.”
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