Take a break from world affairs and ease into the rich culture of Appalachia when West Virginia University celebrates 54th annual Mountaineer Week activities Nov. 9-17.

From funnel cake and fiddlinto taffy pulls, quilt shows and story tellin,this popular autumnal event will have something for everyone, said Sonja Wilson, Mountaineer Week coordinator.

“This years Mountaineer Week will provide an exciting showcase of Appalachian culture and artistry, said Sonja Wilson, Mountaineer Week coordinator.”We hope people from near and far, young and old, will come by to enjoy the fun and at the same time learn a little about this diverse and rich culture.”

Events, all of which will be held on the first and second floors of the Mountainlair, begin at 9 a.m. with a”Family Fun Day”Friday, Nov. 9, with marble shooting and trick pool demonstrations, displays, a food drive, funnel cake sales, Appalachian music and maple sugar candy-making demonstrations.

Later, from 4-6 p.m., there will be a Kids Fish Casting Competition on the Mountainlairs first floor, plus a host of other family activities from 2:30-4 p.m. including puppet shows, face paintings, and visits by Miss Teen West Virginia and Miss West Virginia.

Events continue when 57 regional artisans participate in the popular Mountaineer Week Arts and Craft Fair from noon-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9-10, and from noon- 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11. Traditional Appalachian crafts as well as contemporary craftsitems such as pottery, jewelry, wood products, toys and candleswill be on sale at the festival.

The popular Mountaineer Week Quilt Show also be held the same days and hours on the Mountainlairs second floor.

Also on Friday, the Mountaineer Week Country Vittles Dinner Buffet will be held from 5:007:30 p.m. in Hatfields.

The Country Store and Chuck Wagon will sell homemade treats during the week, and there will be apple butter, kettle corn, funnel cake sales and demonstrations in and around theLair. There also will be chili cook-offs and pizza-making contests.

All week long, the Mountain Laurel Dulcimers and the popular Percival Pickers will provide Appalachian entertainment. The Paul Robeson/Mahalia Jackson Choir also will perform.

A special musical treat will be the Mountaineer Week Fiddlers Contest, sponsored by BB&T at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, in the Gluck Theatre

The second annual Mountaineer Week Turkey Calling Contest will be presented by the Chestnut Ridge Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, in the Gluck Theatre. Several contests will be held including an open contest, a contest by the West Virginia State Friction Contest and a contest for amateurs.

Beginning Friday, Bill Lepp, National Champion Storyteller will spin tales, and there will be wood chopping and sawing demonstrations by WVU Woodsmen.

The popular PRT Cram will take place at 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, in front of the Mountainlair. A specially designed PRT car with the Mountaineer Week quilt logo painted on its side has been created for the occasion. The 1999 record still stands at 97 people crammed in a car.

Another highlight of the week, according to Wilson, will be a noon Peace Tree Ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 13, across the street from the Mountainlair.

“This ceremony is especially timely, given Americas current war against terrorism,”Wilson said.”It will give everyone a chance to gather and meditate on peace, drawing upon centuries-old Native American traditions.”

Mainstreet Morgantown will sponsor Downtown Day Wednesday, Nov. 14. Now in its third year, Downtown Day provides the community the opportunity to get involved with WVU , Wilson said. Sidewalk sales and the”Campus vs. Community Olympics”are just some of the events planned.

Also on Wednesday (Nov. 14), WVU s 2001 Beard Growing Contest will be judged at noon on the Court House Square (rain location: VFW on Spruce Street). Master of ceremonies is Mountaineer Scott Moore.

Activities continue on Thursday, Nov. 15, with a Mountaineer Week Health and Wellness Clinic. Sponsored by the Student Recreation Center, the clinic will offer $85 meningitis immunizations in the Centers Multipurpose Room B.

The second annual Blue and Gold Day will take place Friday, Nov. 16. WVU faculty, staff and students are asked to don blue and gold attire to demonstrate their Mountaineer pride.

The WVU football team will take on Temple at Mountaineer Field Saturday, Nov. 17. Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer will be named at halftime of the game along with Most Loyal Mountaineer, Most Loyal West Virginian and Most Loyal Faculty and Staff.

For more information on the weeks activities such as lectures, displays, concerts and more, call Sonja Wilson, 293-2702.