Celebrate the Labor Day weekend with the Museum in the Park at Chief Logan State Park. The celebration will include two outdoor concerts on Saturday, Sept. 2, from 4 - 10 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 3, from 1 - 7 p.m. The musical events, “Aunt Jennie’s Festival,” are free and open to the public. The concerts will be held in the park’s Liz Spurlock Amphitheater, located about one- half mile from the museum.
Logan native Roger Bryant, a musician whose roots are in the old-time and folk music traditions, will serve as emcee. Bryant also will perform as part of the weekend’s festivities. Bryant is the grandson of local folk legend Aunt Jennie Wilson, for whom the festival is named. His career has spanned 30 years and 30 states, and includes almost every phase of the music scene. He achieved national attention in the late 1970s with his song “Stop the Flow of Coal,” and recently completed work on his fourth album, “On the Banks of the Old Guyan.”
Saturday’s concert will include Bryant, who will open the show; Richard Taylor and Higher Ground, a bluegrass group from Logan County; The Earl of Elkview, George Daugherty, a trial lawyer who has travelled the world singing and talking about West Virginia; Mystery Mountain Boys, a bluegrass band from Varney that frequently performs at the Delbarton Opry House; and Split Nixon, an alternative band that has developed a large following in the tri-state area.
The Sunday afternoon concert will feature Glen Simpson, a traditional and folk artist from Hardy, Ky.; John and Marvine Loving of Cross Lanes, noted for their folk- and ballad-singing; Fred and Cora Hairston, gospel singers from Omar; Soup Kitchen, an a cappella group from Charleston and Mingo Village that sings songs of enduring world folk tradition and gospel; Robert Shafer and the Pour House Crew, a country band based in the Charleston area; and Daddy Rabbit, a local pop band from the Logan area.
The concession stand outside the amphitheater will be open for refreshments. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
Visitors are also welcome to come to the Museum in the Park to see the current exhibits from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. on Saturday and 1 - 8 p.m. on Sunday. West Virginia Quilts: A Tradition of Excellence features award-winning quilts from the West Virginia State Museum collection and loaned quilts from local collections; Dehue . . . A Special Place examines aspects of coal camp life including business and social life; Remembering Buffalo Creek presents artifacts relevant to the Buffalo Creek disaster; Ron Moxley Collection: Native American Artifacts includes a nutting stone found in Chief Logan State Park; and Our Future in Retrospect? Coal Miner Health in Appalachia features a photography exhibit by photojournalist Earl Dotter, who travelled to southern West Virginia to document health issues.
Other displays include a preview of an upcoming exhibition, The Omar Project: Not a Simple Story, which are four reprinted photographs from the National Archives taken by Ben Shahn and Marion Post Wolcott in the 1930s; Rising Light and Fallen Field, two mixed-media installations conceived by David Jeffrey of Wyoming County as a tribute and memorial to coal miners; An Early History of Firearms in West Virginia, a selection of firearms from state and private collections spanning the 1700s to the Civil War; Coalfield Music, an interactive display on loan from the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame which will include Senator Robert C. Byrd’s fiddle; and a special exhibit of Aunt Jennie Wilson artifacts and memorabilia.
Virginia Myrtle “Aunt Jennie” Wilson was born in 1900 in the “Doc” Ellis hollow of what is now Chief Logan State Park. She was one of the first women in the region to learn to play the banjo, and her music and storytelling made her internationally known for her preservation of Appalachian culture. Wilson died in 1992.
For more information about the festival, contact Adam Hodges, site manager for the Museum in the Park, at (304) 792-7229.
The Museum in the Park is a regional cultural center showcasing the best in West Virginia history and the arts. It features changing exhibits and displays of artwork and historical items from the collections of the West Virginia State Museum and the State Archives. One area of the museum is dedicated to local and regional history. It is operated and maintained by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and is located four miles north of Logan on West Virginia Route 10 at Chief Logan State Park.
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. 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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