Mark your calendar for the comeback of these beloved fairs and festivals.
Celebrating together under the sun is a thing again in 2021. Here’s a run-down of fairs and fetes that have confirmed their dates and formats so far. Mark your calendar! Everything will take place as COVID conditions of the time require, so get the latest before you head out.
90 minutes’ drive or less
Kick-off May 1, 2021
27th Annual Cheat River Festival, Albright (45 minutes)
Cheat Fest lovers can participate in kayaking, whitewater surfing, and rock climbing events in person this year. Because it’s one of the earliest festivals of the season, many events will also take place virtually again in 2021, with a month of entertainment, a silent auction, and more. Your participation benefits Friends of Cheat and its work on behalf of the Cheat River.
June 3–6, 2021
Blue & Gray Reunion, Philippi (1h)
The annual remembrance of the first land battle of the Civil War has come to include history tours, a parade, encampments for re-enactors from both sides of the war, artillery and small arms demonstrations, a choir concert, and a Civil War Ball—and of course, the Sunday re-enactment of the battle, much missed in 2020.
June 4–13, 2021
62nd Annual Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh PA (1h20m)
Also taking place early in the season is Pittsburgh’s massive 10-day Three Rivers Arts Festival. The mix of in-person and virtual events that will maximize both safety and fun is still being determined, but we’re looking forward to a sunny Saturday wandering blocks and blocks and blocks of artists’ booths and seeing live music performed on the streets of downtown.
August 13–15, 2021
Heritage Music BluesFest, Wheeling (1h30m)
Music all day on the Main Stage including Ronne Baker Brooks, Coco Montoya, Hannah Wicklund, Jason Ricci, and many more award-winning acts, plus a second stage with local and regional artists, all taking place at Heritage Port beside the Ohio River.
September 3–5, 2021
Jackson’s Mill Jubilee, Kincheloe (1h)
If you’ve been to this annual Labor Day weekend jubilee, you know how much fun the arts and crafts, food vendors, and live music are. If not, it’s your best chance to wander the boyhood home of Confederate General “Stonewall” Jackson.
September 30–October 3, 2021
79th Preston County Buckwheat Festival, Kingwood (45m)
Parades, fair food, carnival games and rides, animals, and quilts and other homestead crafts—all that plus buckwheat cakes and sausage. There’s nothing like the Buckwheat Festival.
October 1 & 2, 2021
Springs Folk Festival, Springs PA (1h)
A celebration of traditional farm life: Juried artisans, sheep shearing, Pennsylvania Dutch foods, hayrides. Show up early if you want in on the famed sauerkraut.
Oct 2–10, 2021
Mountain State Forest Festival, Elkins (1h30m)
A lumberjack competition, forestry and wood exhibits, and the elaborate celebration of Queen Silvia and her royal court, as well as juried art, a quilt show, parades, amusement rides, and headline concerts—one of the largest, oldest, and most unique festivals in West Virginia.
Farther than 90 minutes
June 13–27, 2021
FestivALL, Charleston (2h30m)
The entire city turns out for this celebration of the visual and performing arts, with events and exhibits everywhere. “A City Becomes a Work of Art.”
August 12–21, 2021
State Fair of West Virginia, Lewisburg (3h)
All of the grand-scale spectacle of a traditional state fair.
September 10–12, 2021
45th Ohio River Sternwheel Festival, Marietta, OH (2h)
Sternwheel boat races, family entertainment, and fireworks on the majestic Ohio River.
September 18 & 19, 2021
Mothman Festival, Point Pleasant (2h45m)
A one-of-a-kind event commemorating the 1966 sightings of the infamous red-eyed winged legend. All the fun of a street fair, plus guest speakers and bus tours highlighting the history—and don’t skip the Mothman Museum.
Still to be confirmed
If your favorites are listed here, check online for updates as the season progresses.
Usually in July
Contemporary American Theater Festival, Shepherdstown (2h30m)
Each summer, the CATF produces six new plays in rotating repertory. It has been named one of the top theater festivals in the world by The New York Times and other publications.
Arthurdale Heritage New Deal Festival, Arthurdale (30m)
Our own local New Deal community, a favorite of Eleanor Roosevelt.
Usually in September
Italian Heritage Festival, Clarksburg (45m)
Clarksburg celebrates its Italian heritage with food, music, and more.
West Virginia Wine & Jazz Festival, Morgantown (15m)
A weekend of regional wines and cool jazz, often voted Best of Morgantown Best Festival.
Usually in October
Balloons over Morgantown, right in town
Balloon launches from the airport, NightGlow at the mall—a beautiful spectacle all over town.