Appalachian Festival begins Friday

BECKLEY- (WOAY)- One of the most popular annual events in Raleigh County starts Friday.

“In Raleigh County I believe it’s the largest one,” Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center President Ellen Taylor said.

The Appalachian Festival kicks off Friday morning. Vendors set up Thursday at the Beckley-Raleigh Convention Center for the 54th annual Arts and Crafts Show. But this isn’t the only place to have fun at the festival; there are events all over Beckley during the weekend.

“There are things that will go on all over town,” Taylor said. “Taste of Beckley, Crossroads Mall, the (Raleigh County) Library, the Beckley Art Group, Tamarack, Youth Museum, Exhibition Coal Mine and more.”

Vendors come from all over the country, including Beverley Watson. She’s from Tennessee and has been coming to the Arts and Crafts show for almost 20 years.

“I keep coming back because of the people,” Watson said. “I love the people here. These are the nicest people on earth in West Virginia and we do shows everywhere. I just came back from Missouri for a show so we come here because we just love the people.”

Watson loves the people so much that she doesn’t consider them customers or other vendors, but she thinks of them as family.

“They come in and we give each other hugs and say ‘how are you?’ and ‘good to see you this year’ and it’s just like coming home to family,” Watson said.

Doors open at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center at 10 A.M.