Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” – Mother Teresa
With the joyful chaos that is the holiday season behind us, a brief glimpse into the future of the Greenbrier Valley seems in order. The only constant here, or anywhere for that matter, is change. It’s inevitable, often reflects progress, and also makes for great table fare discussions.
Little change is reflected in the tried and true festivals based in Lewisburg, as they continue to grow in offerings and attendees each year. The Literary Festival, TOOT (Taste of Our Town), and Chocolate Festival bring crowds by the thousands, yet there’s always room to breathe while you take in the delightful sounds and flavors of the area.
White Sulphur Springs will once again present their Wild Game Cookoff after last year’s inaugural success. The Greenbrier Resorts third Annual Tennis Classic will most likely see bigger crowds again in 2014, and even more exciting racketry. The White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery will host the popular Fishing Derby, where the kids get to be kids and the adults reminisce.
The sound of music will flow through the hills again this year, with acts performing far and wide, from the back alley bars to the Halls of Carnegie. The West Virginia State Fair continues to bring in up and coming acts, as well as long time favorites. Snowshoe Mountain is now featuring many great musicians with Beats of the Basin happening on Friday nights throughout the winter season (see page 16). This summer, the mtn’s entertainment includes the annual Wine and Jazz Festival and Blues, Brews, & Barbeque Festival.
Outdoor festivals in Williamsburg, WV such as the Badlands and Poor Farm Fest, grow leaps and bounds every year, with the outlook for 2014 proving no different.
Eclipsing the drawing power of these previously mentioned venues, the PGA Greenbrier Classic continues to showcase high caliber mainstream talent in a wonderful outdoor setting. Possible acts for the specialized stage in Fairlea could be anyone from Fleetwood Mac and Jimmy Buffet, to Taylor Swift and Prince.
The water will continue to flow along the banks of the Greenbrier River, bringing yet another season of kayaking, canoeing, tubing, and just plain soaking your toes. New hiking and mountain biking trails are currently in construction in the Greenbrier State Forest, adding to the facility’s already well known reputation for outdoor recreation. Stuart’s Smokehouse in Alderson will be serving up their highly sought after hot dogs, culminating in the spectacle filled Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest, held during Alderson’s 4th of July Celebration.
The old Fort Savannah Inn has been undergoing major renovations and is now called The Spring. This remodeled venue has most recently hosted Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth Laprelle’s Crankies Show and the nationally renowned Bob Thompson Unit. There is also a vegetarian restaurant planned to be launched sometime this spring.
The uncertainty of the new Cinema 8 complex near Lowe’s continues, with hopeful thoughts that this anchor site will eventually become a reality. This year also marks the opening of the Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company, which will undoubtedly be a successful business for years to come.
With ebb and tide flows, the Greenbrier Valley is a fluid mosaic with many changes in store for 2014. Most of the changes are for the better, some not so much, but we push forward with optimism, hope, and chances for a better day nevertheless. Keep a close ear to the ground, a watchful eye, and experience the Greenbrier Valley with openness and enthusiasm as we delve into the new year. This year promises to be a doozy!
– Craig Miller, LBSPY #48 (Dec 16-Jan 13, 2014)