Frostburg State University’s ninth annual Appalachian festival took place over this past weekend. With an abundance of free entertainment for family and friends of all ages. From goat petting to pewter crafting, a clogging ensemble to homemade apple butter, there really is something for everyone to enjoy at the Appalachian festival.
The Appalachian Ensemble from Davis and Elkins College, of Elkins West Virginia, performed an exceptional set. The clogging team and Appalachian string band work together to create a show unlike most. Blending clogging with the unique melodies played by the string band was enough to capture the attention of many festival goers. One of the performers, Eli Lucchesi, described the ensemble as, “a performance group who focuses on the music and dance of those native to the Appalachian region.” Eli was joined onstage by seven other cloggers, Mia Gresak, Alina Soltis, Katharine Manor, Marina Madden, Will Roboski and Devon Rose. Also an important part of the performance, the string band. The string band consisted of violinists and guitarist, and four members performed today, Kaia Kater –Hurst, Scotty Leach, Rebecca Wudaski, and Tassa Dillon. The ensemble travels with the professors of their course, Rebecca Hill (clogging instructor) and Emily Miller (string band instructor). For more on the Davis and Elkins Appalachian Ensemble you can check out their videos on YouTube.
But the performances are not the only reason to stop by the Appalachian festival next year. There are an array of tables set up for those in the mood to browse unique, handcrafted, one of a kind trinkets. The ladies of Bruderhof, offered crafts, pottery, sock making, and sold beautiful handmade to order fresh flower garlands. Mary of Mary’s Crafts and Treasures, specializes in the transformation of recycled jean material into handbags. Her hand bags range in size from, “women’s, men’s, and baby butts!” Baby butts being the classification of the smaller handbags that are made from the jeans of well, baby butts. Mary says, “I have been at this for 10 years [handbag crafting].” Robert C. Fleszar of RC Pewter Works, located in Uniontown, PA., creates fine pewter pieces, ranging from vintage to modern. Blending the modern styling of rings and bracelets to the vintage styled salt cellar spoons and Pysanky egg holders and even showing a bit of the holiday spirit with their array of ornaments. Mr. Fleszar says, “our company makes everything our self, it’s all handcrafted.” After a full 10 years in the business the craftsmanship of their pieces really show the quality of their work.
All of the exploring festival goers have done has probably left them with a sweet tooth kicking in which can be quickly satisfied by the Sugar & Spice Bakery. The baked goods sold by the woman of the Amish community had a little something for everyone. Cakes, cookies, pies, and brownies these women made it all! If baked goods are not your thing then make sure to stop by the Savage River Farm Sassafras root beer table. Gabriel Echeverri, student of Frostburg State University makes this all natural root beer. This root beer is made from a sassafras root, a tree. And the best part is that you can pronounce all of the ingredients: Water, brown sugar, local & wild harvested sassafras root, organic fair trade vanilla extract, red star Pasteur champagne yeast.
All this and more can be found at Frostburg State University’s annual Appalachian festival. Next year is the 10th anniversary of the Appalachian festival can’t wait to see what’s in store.