The West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s annual series of free holiday exhibitions and programs at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex will begin on Friday, Nov. 23. Highlighted by seasonal decorations, a craft fair, children’s activities, a community dance and concerts, the celebration will continue through the end of the year.
The Kanawha Garden Council of the West Virginia Garden Clubs will decorate the Cultural Center to complement the theme “Let There Be Peace On Earth.” The decorations in the Great Hall will be made primarily of materials found in nature and will include a large evergreen tree covered with bird houses and bird nests, as well as giant grapevine wreaths on the marble walls. The annual exhibit of holiday trees representing countries from around the world, highlighted by a patriotic United States of America tree, also will be on display. Outside, garlands will be draped along the railings of the Plaza Deck and decorated trees will stand on either side of the entrance to the Cultural Center.
Holiday shoppers can bring their gift lists and shop in ease at the Holiday Craft Fair Friday through Sunday, Nov. 23-25. Thirty-one of West Virginia’s finest artists and craftspeople will display gifts for every taste and pocketbook including stained glass, woodcrafts, pottery, jewelry, candles, bath and body items, candy, musical instruments and more. Artists and craftspeople will include Appalachian Art, Berry Hills Baskets, Bill Wood Scenic Photography, Canaan Valley Candle, C.A.S. Art Glass, Cat Designs, Betty Dial, Dinah’s Goat Milk Soap, Doves Eyes Ltd., Flower Sculpture, Fur and Feather Studio of Charleston, Glasswerks, Hardwood Arts, Herb Miller, Holcomb’s Wood Working, K-Mac Mills, Kitchen Creek Copper Works, LeeJun Farm, Quilted Treasures, Paula’s Crafts, Primitive Wood Wares, The Candy Factory, Spoons and Sweets Inc., Crafty Corner, Soaps by Kim, Wyndmills, Summer Kitchen Pottery, Summer Hollow Pottery, Timberwolf Creations, Zephyrus and 30 Acre Wood. Craft fair hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 23-24 and noon to 6 p.m. on Nov. 25.
Contemporary Christian band Shaney Fiani of Wheeling will perform at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23, and acclaimed Wheeling singer-pianist Barbara Good will present “A Harvest of Song” at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24.
An opening reception for the exhibition of trees will be held on Sunday, Nov. 25, from 2-4 p.m. The entire family can enjoy refreshments as they view the decorations and then top off the afternoon with a performance of seasonal music by the St. George Orthodox Church Choir of Charleston at 4 p.m.
A special holiday Community Contra Dance will be held from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1. The dance, sponsored in conjunction with FOOTMAD (Friends of Old Time Music and Dance), will feature the Red Mountain White Trash Band and caller Charlie Harvey. Beginners are welcome. No experience is required and no partner is necessary.
Children are invited to make holiday crafts from noon-5 p.m. on Dec. 1 (candles), Dec. 8 (holiday ornaments) and Dec. 15 (holiday greeting cards), and the young and young-of-heart alike will be delighted Dec. 8-16 by “Choo Choo . . . Trains,” a display of model trains sponsored by the Island Creek Model Railroad Club of Logan.
Mick Souter’s Musical Theater will present “The Roads and Rails of Woody Guthrie” at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, taking the audience on a musical and narrative journey across the country. Following Souter’s performance, the Four Seasons Vocal Arts Ensemble will present a concert beginning at 4 p.m. On Saturday, Dec. 15, at 4 p.m. the Charleston Metropolitan Band will perform a selection of holiday favorites.
Regular hours for the Cultural Center are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. The Archives Library is closed on Sunday. Check local listings for extended hours during special holiday programming. All events are free and open to the public. Evening and weekend parking is free. For more information or for a complete schedule of holiday activities at the Cultural Center, call (304) 558-0162.
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 www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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