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Saturday, Sept 14: Freshwater Folk Festival returns for a 15th year!

It’s been said that the best things in life are free, and that’s what the 15th Annual Freshwater Folk Festival will be on Saturday, September 14th from 10 AM till 4 PM at the White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery.  The expenses for bands, tents, tables, etc. are paid for with state and county grants and donations from people who believe in the importance of community togetherness and the enjoyment and preservation of beautiful creeks, rivers, lakes, forests, and wildlife in West Virginia.  As usual, food and crafts will be sold by vendors.

At 10am, the event will begin with music at the amphitheater and the opening of the exhibits, demonstrations, and hands-on activities for fun and enlightenment under the big tent nearby.  The most popular attraction is usually “Snakes of West Virginia” presented by Roy Moose of the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center.  His expertise and a most excellent group of friendly reptiles easily draw a crowd.

The music that will start things off at 10am is that of the mysterious Mad Dog and Platypus (above) who recently performed at the Pretty Penny Café in Hillsboro.  This duo has a unique sound that is astounding.

A West Virginia Science Public Outreach Team Ambassador will present: “Water, The Source of Life: Protecting Our Most Valuable Natural Resource”.  Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society will have most interesting and entertaining demonstrations of magnetism, gyroscopic precession, and other phenomena.  Likewise, WVSOM student organizations such as the Research Club and the Wilderness Medicine Club will also have demonstrations and hands-on activities. Nima Shahab Shamir of WVU Tech will present his augmented reality educational 3D phone app called Sheen that was featured at the state fair’s WVU Building this year.        

Other exhibits and demonstrations will be offered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Hanging Rocks Raptor Observatory, and the US Forest Service. That includes tours of the hatchery.    


From 11am-1pm, the reggae music of Jamaican-born Shayar and his band, Krooshal Force, will fill the air.  He has toured the Caribbean, the United States, and Europe with Burning Spear, and other popular reggae bands.  They played to an enthusiastic crowd at Carnegie Hall’s Ivy Terrace Concert this June.  His original compositions will be featured, and his set lists also include several classic reggae songs by musicians such as Bob Marley.    

From 1p to 2:30pm, the musicians from Greenbrier East High School known as 2nd Block Rock will perform, much to the delight of everyone.  They have played at many venues in Greenbrier County, and last spring they were the featured band at the West Virginia Music Educators Association Annual Conference.

From 2:30pm to 3:30pm, GROUP performs ukelele. Inspired by Madonna’s ukulele rendition of “True Blue”, local musician Bob DuCharme has created the only ukulele club in West Virginia. They have weekly practice sessions at the White Sulphur Springs Library and offer a diverse variety of songs revealing the versatility of their chosen instruments. What a finale for the festival!

There are benches at the amphitheater, but some may prefer to bring folding lawn chairs.  There will be some folding chairs under canopies behind the benches at the amphitheater.  This event is organized by the Friends of the White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery.  For more information, visit the website, freshwaterfolkfestival.org, or call 304-646-0602.

– Larry Davis, HashtagWV #117. September 2019.

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HashtagWV Art & Entertainment is a high-quality print and digital multimedia platform for all things West Virginia and the greater Appalachian region. The editorial focus is local music, unique shopping, the arts, events, theatre, and food and drinks. tiktok.com/@hashtagwv

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