West Virginia State Folk Festival  

Music, Heritage, and Appalachian  Culture

June 17-20, 2021                                             

April 8, 2020

West Virginia State Folk Festival Family,

We are reaching out to assure you we are monitoring the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation in West Virginia and elsewhere. Like everyone else, we are taking all precautions and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other state and local resources. The health and safety of our festival attendees, volunteers and performers has always, and will continue to be, our highest priority.

As we navigate through these difficult times together, please know the WVSFF Board Members are doing our best to make the most appropriate decisions to ensure the safety of our people. With a heavy heart, we write to inform you of our decision to postpone the 71st West Virginia State Folk Festival until June 17-20, 2021.

As we all know, our festival is much like a family reunion. It is one that promotes physical contact through dance, sharing and exchanging of crafts, and just good old-fashioned fellowship such as handshaking and hugging. We must do our part in social distancing so that we can indeed gather again soon!

We are already looking forward to planning a big celebration for next year, so mark your calendars now! Dancers, although you may be forced to cut a rug alone at home, imagine how great it will be to swing your partner round and round! Crafters, we encourage you to take this time to build up a good inventory! Precious Belles, you have a whole year to prepare your attire! We must all look for the positives at this time and be creative in passing our music and traditions on.

While we will not be holding the 71st WVSFF in June of 2020, we hope to offer WVSFF sponsored events such as “Open Air Concerts” when it is safe to do so. Clearly, we want to continue to celebrate our rich cultural heritage and to feature our WV musicians. Thank you for understanding and stay safe during this time. 

We understand there may be concerns about registration, returned fees, and other matters. Thank you for being patient with us as we work on reimbursements and review all forms of paperwork. As we continue to monitor the outbreak and move forward, please follow us on social media and our website for updates.

With warm wishes,

Megan Darby, President 

Join us each year -- beginning the third Thursday in June -- as the city of Glenville, West Virginia, takes on a marvelous change reminiscent of the old days. See antique cars, the Folk Festival Belles, quilt shows, and Appalachian arts and crafts. Your ears will be treated to the sweet sounds of banjo and fiddle contests, jam sessions in the streets, old-time gospel singing, and oral traditions. Please your tastebuds at the Festival as well!. Every year, the Lion's Club sets up a hot dog stand, and this year you can have a cheese-steak or have dessert first with a funnel cake! But no matter what, don't forget the Strawberry Shortcake from the Gilmer Co. FFA!

Festival Purpose:

The purpose of this corporate body shall be to preserve the remnants of pioneer life and culture of West Virginia in music, entertainment, education, and social and economic activities to the end that citizens may appreciate and respect the achievements of their forebearers.

Letter from the President

Welcome to the West Virginia State Folk Festival site! Serving as the new WVSFF President is an honor, and as a resident of Gilmer County and Director of the Glenville State College Bluegrass Music Program and Pioneer Stage, I am having a ball networking and building positive relationships from both my personal and professional backgrounds.

Without a doubt, I have a sincere interest and excitement in guiding this respected and well-anticipated community event that helps bring attention to our area, its history, and our people. In addition to the Festival’s time-honored traditions, this year we are excited about offering some new activities: a Glenville Historical Wagon Ride, the WVSFF Youth Camp hosted by the Pioneer Stage, and a fun-filled Artisans’ Corner (located at the corner of East Main and College Streets) featuring Appalachian demonstrations, crafters, old engines, and children’s games.

Since its inception, the Festival has become an opportunity for the Appalachian community to celebrate and to preserve its rich music and culture in a setting that promotes education and heritage. I see value in student internships and community collaboration helping to rejuvenate and preserve West Virginia histories, experiences, and oral traditions.

In the years since its founding in 1950, the West Virginia State Folk Festival has become a part of our town’s identity. Nationwide attention has been consistently recognized. Our hope is that you will enjoy the efforts of all of us who are involved in maintaining and expanding our Festival’s legacy. On behalf of the Board of Directors, community volunteers, GSC student interns, and donors, THANK YOU for your support. We look forward to seeing you on the square-dance platform!

 

Kindly,

Dr. Megan E. Darby

WVSFF President

Megan and her daughters, Presley Jewell and Piper

Now you can view the WV State Folk Festival Newspaper online!

June 20th to June 23rd, 2019.

Reserve your room now!!


Call: 304.462. 6388

 
 

Job's Temple

The last event of the WV State Folk Festival is a church service like no other because it is held in Job’s Temple, a log structure established in the late 1850’s when congregants with southern sympathies withdrew from Pisgah Methodist Episcopal Church located approximately two miles east of this site.  Job’s Temple, now on the National Register of Historic Places, was finished after the men returned to the community following the Civil War.

Regular services were conducted until 1912 when the church fell in disrepair.  During the 1930’s, interest was revived for the preservation of the building and the annual homecomings began in 1936.  Over 140 graves are on the property with the oldest being 1870.

     Job’s Temple Association Inc. oversees the preservation of the church building, provides perpetual care for the cemetery and grounds, and organizes homecomings each year.  They love the old church so much that they recently worked to build retaining walls to hold back the drifting hillside from pushing on the sanctuary.  They made repairs to the foundation and roof, using tools and methods of the first builders including hauling in logs with a team of horses.  

Worship here is very special.  The congregation sits on log benches.  There is no electricity, only the rays of the sun coming through the open windows, and the light of God.  Voices resound in old-time harmony off the log walls and ceiling. 

    Each year the Job’s Temple Association holds an annual Homecoming in August to which all are welcome.  They are currently selling books, which will be available on the day of the service, telling the history, events and people associated with this very special house of worship. The Folk Festival Committee appreciates the Job’s Temple Association, Inc. and its officers for permission to conclude the Festival with this very special event.


    Bryan Groves has been a lifelong resident of Gilmer County, having graduated from Gilmer Co High School and Glenville State College.  He grew up playing bluegrass and gospel music with his family and in church.  He is an avid WV State Folk Festival supporter, singer and musician. He has also been a past speaker at the annual closing services at Jobs Temple for the WV State Folk Festival.  Bryan is actively involved in numerous county events and activities.
   Bryan has served as pastor for the Sand Fork Church of God for over 35 years.  He began serving this church and county at the age of 19. During his time as pastor, the church built a new sanctuary (1999) and fellowship hall (2011). Bryan has also been involved in the real estate business for 24 years and is the present Broker / Owner of Central WV Real Estate with offices in Glenville & Sutton, WV. 
Part I & II of this wonderful documentary can be found on YouTube