The M.F.B. Brings Intense Funk to Watoga Art in the Park!

On Saturday afternoon, August 31, from 2-5pm, The M.F.B. will be funkin’ up Watoga State Park during Watoga Art in the Park in Marlinton, Pocahontas County. Over the last seven years, this popular band out of Charleston has laid waste to the music landscape with contagious grooves and an over-the-top stage show that has left audiences mesmerized and funkified. Expect to see a hedonistic crescendo of raw energy and musicianship spilling from the stage to the dance floor to cultivate impromptu conga lines, dance competitions, and an intense funky insanity to broaden smiles all around. Even better, The M.F.B is just one amazing part of Watoga Art in Park. This is a free, 2-day event held over Labor Day Weekend. From Saturday, August 31-Sunday Sept 1, you are invited to participate in various art demonstrations, workshops, nature activities, shopping, more live music, food, and more! The festival runs from 9a-5p on both days and this is an all ages event.

Saturday and Sunday workshops include Glass and Ceramic Pendants with Cynthia Gurerri, 10a-4p; DIY Spiders with the Pocahontas Nature Club (more info below), 12p-2pm; Acrylic Painting with Kristen Lecroy, 10a-noon, Watercolor with Kristen Lecroy, 1p-4pm; Wood Turning with Stan Cook, all day; Eco Printing with Marcia Laska, 11a-noon, Wood Fired Pottery with Ken Nagakui, 9a-5pm; Mask Making and Collages with Sigrid Eilertson, 10a-noon and 2-4pm; and Cuppa Tea with Brightside Tea House, 2p-4pm. There will also be a Stoneware Workshop with Kevin Stitzinger on Sunday; Nature Clays with Kathryn Gillispie on Saturday from 1p-2:15p and on Sunday from 3p-4:15pm; as well as Informal Open Paint Sessions and Kids’ Workshops all weekend.

Make sure to schedule your D.I.Y. Spider Workshop! You will be able to create your very own orbweaver spider and her web. Organizers tell us “Orbweavers are the ‘Charlotte’s Web’ spiders who make the lovely wheel-shaped webs adorning the countryside late summer and early fall.’ This is a two-hour workshop (held both Saturday and Sunday, ages 10 and up) where you will have fun assembling and painting (realistically or fancifully) small spider sculptures fashioned by Gwen Balogh from polymer clay. Then you will construct your own orb webs on natural hoop-shaped twigs to display your spiders on. Take your spider home for a perfect Fall window ornament!

During the event, the Dirtbean from Marlinton will provide soups, baked goods, coffee, and sodas. Festival organizers are still recruiting food vendors and hoping to offer Kettle Corn and BBQ. If you would like to be a food vendor, contact Kristy Lanier, owner at the Dirtbean, 304-799-4038.

Other musical acts this weekend include the Barn Raisers, who perform on Saturday, Aug 31, 11am-1pm.This is a local Pocahontas County group and include bandmembers Clay Condon, a hemp farmer; Paolo Marks, a violin maker; Erica Marks, director of the Yew Mountain Center; and Josh Bennett, of Hawk Knob Cidery. They describe themselves as fireside pickin’ neighbors presenting a cobbling of troubadourian raucousness and cultivated tradition. Their music evokes the joy and pain of raising families, raising food, raising hope, and raising hell. On Sunday, Sept 1, Half Step Down plays from 12p-4pm. This Marlinton based group is all about fun and making music. Their set list covers an exceptionally broad range of musical genres so there’s always a little something for everyone to enjoy.

Strolling through Watoga State Park is enlightening at best. Enjoying the park in the company of talented artists, musicians, families, and great food is even better. Don’t miss Watoga Art in the Park this Labor Day weekend! Organizers are still looking for more art vendors. Booth fees are just $25/artist (up to 2 people). For more information about this special event and/or to sign up as a food or art vendor, visit or call Kristy at the Dirtbean.

– HashtagWV #116. August 2019.

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