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Annual Appalachian String Band Music Festival to begin Aug. 3

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s 16th Appalachian String Band Music Festival will be held Aug. 3-7, 2005 at Camp Washington-Carver in Clifftop. The popular annual festival draws crowds of string band musicians and fans from around the world for its contests, concerts, dancing and workshops.

Music contests include banjo and fiddle on Thursday, non-traditional string band on Friday and traditional string band on Saturday. The top five winners in each category will receive prizes ranging from $100 to $700 for bands and $50 to $400 for fiddle and banjo. Senior (age 60 and over) and youth (age 15 and under) categories in fiddle and banjo also are available, with the top three winners in each receiving awards. The old-time dance contest on Saturday, with prizes ranging from $25 to $75 in three age categories, emphasizes the flat foot style.

Workshops, which include beginning square dancing and flat foot dancing, are included with festival admission. Nightly square dances in the Great Chestnut Lodge and outdoor concerts on Friday and Saturday evening are additional festival attractions. Highlights for children and families include cowboy fun, yoga, bingo, pottery, arts and crafts and wheat weaving. Food and instrument vendors and craft demonstrators will be set up on the grounds.

Daily admission is $20 for adults and $15 for seniors ( age 60 and over) and youth (age six to 17). Rough camping for the five-day festival is available on a first-come, first-served basis for $45 for adults, $40 for seniors and youth or $85 per family. The rough camping rate includes admission to all activities.

A beautiful retreat listed in the National Register of Historic Places and operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Camp Washington-Carver serves as the state’s mountain cultural arts center. The facility nurtures the cultural heritage embodied in the site since its dedication in 1942 as a 4-H and agricultural extension camp for West Virginia’s African Americans. The camp is located in Fayette County adjacent to Babcock State Park, just off Rt. 60 (Midland Trail) on Rt. 41.

For more information and a complete schedule of festival events, call (304) 438-3005 or (304) 558-0162 or visit the Division’s website at

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.


Ginny Painter
Director of Public Information
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Blvd., East
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone (304) 558-0220, ext. 120
Fax (304) 558-2779