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Saturday, Sept 9: Freshwater Folk Festival!

Free entertainment and nature activities will abound from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, September 9th during the Freshwater Folk Festival at the White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery on East Main Street.  On the beautiful hatchery grounds, there will be music and dancing plus activities that enhance appreciation of our streams and lakes, fish and wildlife and they are also a lot of fun.  Food and crafts will be available for purchase.   


The six-piece band, Marshall Petty and the Groove, will create plenty of excitement around the festival amphitheater from 10:45 AM to 12:45 PM.  Incidentally, in June of last year the band was performing at Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg on the very evening that the flood waters were creating havoc at the hatchery.

Marshall plays saxophone and provides vocals for many old school R&B standards and blues tunes.  In the Army in Germany, in Minnesota, in Ohio, in college at West Virginia State, wherever he went, he played in a band. For years, he toured with jazz-blues organist Winston Walls.

More vocals will be provided by Lady D (also known as Doris Anne Fields and “West Virginia’s First Lady of Soul”).  Lead guitarist Dan Bailey, bassist Durell Edgerton, drummer Mike Fitzwater, and piano man David B. Loyd (also of the band, Rasta Rafiki) will join together to create the full sound of a great band.

From 1 to 3 PM the acoustic duo, Piedmont Bluz, will treat the crowd to the Piedmont style of blues named for its primary region of origin, the Piedmont Plateau region from Richmond to Atlanta.  Valerie Turner’s fingerpicking on guitar provides the signature characteristic of this musical style.  Her singing glides right along with it, and she occasionally takes up the banjo or the spoons.  Her husband Benedict plays his fancy washboards and harmonica, adding his unique touch to the music.

Based in New York, they have performed at venues in America, Europe, and even Jerusalem.  The duo has been featured in numerous festivals including the Newport Folk Festival this July.  After Marshall Petty stirs things up in the morning, the sweet sounds of Valerie and Ben will float through the air to ears of the groovy people on the hatchery grounds.

In addition to the hands-on activities, demonstrations, and displays relating to appreciation and preservation of freshwater habitats and nature in general, hatchery tours will show the success of the recovery effort since the flood.  Most of those activities will take place under a huge tent and canopies will be set up behind the benches in front of the bandstand so a bit of rain or hot sun won’t be a problem.    

Three of the many activities will be West Virginia Snakes with Roy Moose, fly fishing skills taught by Trout Unlimited, and impressive birds provided by West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center. Fun with scientific phenomena will be offered by the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society.  Green Bank Observatory will bring a small radio telescope built this summer by the First2Network Summer Internship participants.

Local watershed associations will promote preservation of the freshwater environment.  The Vietnam Veterans organization will supervise many games during the event.    

Parking for the festival will be in the northwest corner of the hatchery grounds reached by entering via Hemlock Drive about 100 yards west of the main hatchery entrance.

This event is presented by the Friends of the White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery and sponsored by businesses, several individuals and couples, the WV Division of Culture and History, and the Greenbrier County Commission.  For more information see or call 304-646-0602.

– Larry Davis, HashtagWV #93. September 2017

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Publisher/Editor in Chief at HashtagWV | + posts

HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.