Celebrate the Labor Day weekend with the Museum in the Park at Chief Logan State Park at the fifth annual “Aunt Jennie’s Festival.” The celebration will include two outdoor concerts on Saturday, Sept. 5, from 4 - 10:30 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 6, from 1 - 6 p.m. 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. He is the grandson of local folk legend Aunt Jennie Wilson, for whom the festival is named. His career has spanned more than 30 years and 30 states, and he has shared the stage with Tom T. Hall, Tammy Wynette, Kathy Mattea and Kris Kristofferson. Bryant achieved national attention in the late 1970s with his song “Stop the Flow of Coal” and has recorded four albums, the most recent of which is “On the Banks of the Old Guyan.”
The festival will include performances by many well-known regional favorites. Saturday’s concert will include Bryant, who will open the show; Glen Simpson, a folk musician from Hardy, Ky.; Elaine Purkey, known for her powerful voice and mountain singing and “The Friendly Neighbor Show” band from the weekly radio program on WVOW Radio in Logan; The Dick Taylor Band, a bluegrass group from Chapmanville; the Samples Brothers, an old-time music and bluegrass band from Duck; the Glenville State College Bluegrass Band; and The Street Players, a rock band hailing from Logan.
The Sunday afternoon concert will feature another Bryant set; Taking Flight, a gospel/rock group from Logan; The Earl of Elkview, George Daugherty, a trial lawyer who has traveled the world singing and talking about West Virginia; the West Virginia Bluegrass Gospel Review, a band from Man; the Stewart Family, a gospel group from Clear Fork; Robert Shafer and the Pour House Crew, a country band based in the Charleston area; and the Daddy Rabbit Band, a local pop band from Logan.
Refreshments and snacks will be available for purchase outside the amphitheater both days. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
Visitors also are welcome to come tour the Museum in the Park to see the current exhibits on display from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., on Saturday and 1 - 6 p.m., on Sunday. The We Are Marshall exhibit displays items produced as props for the movie production and actually used in the film of the same name, including a cheerleader’s megaphone and uniform; license plates from West Virginia and North Carolina and a Boone’s Restaurant menu, among others. DeHue . . . A Special Place examines aspects of coal camp life including business and social life; and Black Diamonds takes a look at coal mining throughout West Virginia, with an emphasis on the southern part of the state and showcases artifacts of tools, photographs and historical dialogue.
Other displays include Vandalia Award Winners, which has photographic portraits of some of the winners of the annual Vandalia Gathering held at the Culture Center and State Capitol Grounds in Charleston, including Aunt Jennie Wilson; and Riding the Rails tells the story of railroad development in West Virginia. The exhibit has text panels with the history of railroad development, artifacts from the West Virginia State Museum collection and a photographic display with pictures from the museum collection, Del. Lynwood “Woody” Ireland’s (R-Ritchie) Collection, and the West Virginia State Archives Collection.
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 Elizabeth Williams, site manager at 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 museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 - 6 p.m.
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. Its administrative offices are located at the Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Culture Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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