The 47th annual Mountain State Art & Craft Fair opened Thursday at the Cedar Lakes Conference Center grounds in Ripley, drawing artists and artisans from around the state to display their various talents.
The three-day event, established in 1963 as part of the West Virginia Centennial celebration, showcases traditional and contemporary Appalachian arts and crafts through product displays, demonstrations and entertainment.
That first-year, 54 artisans and craftsmen participated in the event. This year, there are 135 participants registered to display crafts and products from woodworking and jewelry to musical instruments and skin care.
Martha McGoskey, 83, and her husband George, 83, of Ravenswood have participated in the event for 44 years now, only missing one year when George was recovering from a heart attack.
Martha McGoskey started serving hot dogs, but after two years decided to try her hand at weaving and hasn't stopped since.
"I told them they can have the dogs and I'll take the woof," she said, referring to the yarn used to weave fabric.
Christina Casto, 56, of Kenna owns her own business, Christina's Carving,
This is her 17th year at the fair.
With a background in art studies, she took up woodworking 18 years ago as "just another medium" and hasn't stopped since.
"I just fell in love with it," she said.
"I started working with it and it's addictive. And it's great therapy."
Casto demonstrated her technique Thursday morning, showing fairgoers how she can start with a stump of bass wood and turn it into a statuette of a clown.
The Art & Craft fair runs through Saturday with hours from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
TOM HINDMAN/DAILY MAIL
Visitors to the 47th annual Mountain State Art & Craft Fair rest in the shade Thursday. Weather is expected to be clear and warm for the three-day event.
Above, Martha McGoskey, 83, and her husband George have participated in the Art & Craft fair for 44 of the past 45 years, missing it only once when George was recovering from a heart attack. Here she threads her loom as part of a weaving demonstration. While she said she does mostly shawls, she can weave anything from small bags to blankets.
Left, Brandi Baker, 11, and her grandmother, Linda Baker, 61, of Parkersburg conquer their fears of snakes and touch Monty, one of the subjects of the “Sad Mad Glad” book series. Local authors Chuck Stump and Jim Strawn have a booth at the fair to promote their books, designed to help children learn the benefits of having positive attitudes and making sound life decisions.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5148.
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