CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s 2012 Vandalia Gathering, set for May 25-27 at the Culture Center and State Capitol Complex grounds, offers plenty of outlets for West Virginians with a competitive streak.
The free, three-day festival featuring traditional arts, music, dance, stories, crafts and food of West Virginia includes old-time fiddle, bluegrass banjo and mandolin contests on Saturday and old-time banjo, lap dulcimer and flat-pick guitar on Sunday. Competitions for best pound cake and best cupcake are scheduled for Saturday, and the Liars’ Contest is held on Sunday.
All contests are open to West Virginia residents only, and winners are announced at the conclusion of each contest.
Registration for the music contests is from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday. There will be special youth categories (15 years and younger) in the flat pick guitar and fiddle contests.
Registration for the baking contests is from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, with judging set to begin at 1 p.m. on the Plaza Deck of the Culture Center. Awards will be made for first, second and third place as well as a youth award for children 15 years and younger in the pound cake and cupcake categories. Creativity is encouraged as the competition is not limited to traditional cooking techniques. Participants may submit one entry in each category. The pound cakes and cupcakes will become the property of the Division and be given as prizes in the “Cake/Cupcake Walk,” which is set for 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the Great Hall of the Culture Center.
Entries must be made from scratch; prepared mixes are not allowed. Judges will disqualify previously published recipes, such as those published in cookbooks, magazines, on food websites and winners in other cooking contests, unless the recipe features significant changes. All recipes must be submitted on a three-inch by five-inch index card. The pound cakes must be submitted in a disposable loaf pan and the cupcakes in paper cup liners. Entrants must submit six cupcakes.
The Liars Contest registration is from noon to 1 p.m. Sunday, and the contest starts at 1 p.m. in the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater of the Culture Center.
The Vandalia festival, named for a proposed 14th colony and celebrating its 36th year, is a family-friendly event that annually draws thousands of visitors from across the country. It is free, and everyone is welcome.
For more information about the festival and its contests, including a complete schedule of activities, visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org and access the link for events, or call Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner of the Division, at (304) 558-0220.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.