On a cloudy Saturday morning the upper quad of Frostburg State University was filled with locals, staff, and students in celebration of the 8th Annual Appalachian Festival. Though the day was dreary, it did not stop people of the community from coming out and enjoying the sweet sounds of bluegrass, the delicious taste of homemade apple butter, and browsing the beautiful scarfs and jewelry displays. The event had something in store for everyone. A petting zoo and the Horn’s Punch and Judy Puppet Show kept the children entertained, while the tables selling women's jewelry and handmade hats and scarfs kept the female crowd in awe.
The performance held under the Folkways Tent by The Joe Duffey Dance Company had the crowd moved as if they were on the stage with the Dancers. This Irish dance group consists of four members: Joe Duffrey, Laura Hoelzer, Hannah Kuhn, and Jessie Lindenkohl. Despite their standing ovation performance, this was a relatively new dance group and the Festival was an early performance for them. Another performance included the band Old Pitch which also includes four members. Kelly DeButts, Jeff Thomas, Pat Egan, and Tabby Fitch gave their all in their performance as the music being created by their instruments filled the ears of the mesmerized audience.
Though the smell of the children’s petting zoo, which housed many variations of goats filled the air, the smell of buttery kettle corn, hotdogs and hamburgers fresh off the grill, and made to perfection crab cakes outweighed the smell of the zoo. People seemed to be wheeled in by the food this year. Senior Tiara Williams bit into her hotdog and said with dazing eyes, “I usually don’t like cookout food but this hot dog isn’t bad.” The man and woman at the hotdog stand were extremely helpful and pleasant despite the rainfall that had slowly approached. Another hit was the apple butter. Transfer student Nelson Dozier explained how he had never had apple butter but after trying it for the first time at the festival he was in love with it.
Every year the Appalachian festival has good reviews and is a hit within the community. This year was no exception. Though there was an abrupt end to many of the events due to the inclement weather the festival was still a success. The sole purpose of it every year seems to be to teach people about the history of Alleghany County and to unite the community in one place where everyone is enjoying themselves and forgetting about all outside problems.