Yank on a young mans beard, try some apple butter, wrap yourself in a homemade quilt and dare to sing your lungs outand what do you get?

Mountaineer Week at West Virginia University.

The Universitys 57 th annual celebration of all things Appalachian begins Thursday, Nov. 11, with WVUp All Night activities and continues through Sunday, Nov. 21, with a craft fair and quilt show.

Packed within those 11 days will be everything from such mainstays as the beard-growing contest and country vittles dinner toMountaineer Idol,the new kid on the block based on the popular FOX -TV singing competition,American Idol.

Anytime we start something new, it is so well-attended,Mountaineer Week coordinator Sonja Wilson said, referring to the crowds that have turned out for each of the elimination rounds ofMountaineer Idol.

When you do things over and over, it becomes routine, although some of the traditional events such as the quilt show and craft fair always bring people in,she added.

Wilson said organizers are also preparing for a large influx of out-of-towners after the Southeast Tourism Society included Mountaineer Week among its top 20 events for October, November and December for the second straight year. The society, which covers 11 states from West Virginia to Florida, has been touting travel to the region since 1983 and publishing its top 20 events since 1985.

Its a little hard to measure, but we did have a lot of people last year from outside West Virginia, at the craft fair in particular,Wilson said.I also received calls from people in Kentucky, Tennessee and other places where they had seen our event advertised in their newspaper.

Mountaineer Week began in 1948 as a weekend event to build school spirit around the WVU -Kentucky football game. Activities included a pep rally and parade before the game and a dance requiring mountaineer garb afterward. The event evolved over the years into a week-long extravaganza with expanded programming.

In a change from the usual schedule, this years Mountaineer Week football game takes place during the beginning of the week instead of the end. The Nov. 13 game against Boston College begins at noon at Milan Puskar Stadium.

Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer, students who epitomize the gold-and-blue spirit of a true WVU Mountaineer, will be announced during halftime.

WVU officials will also honor this yearsMost Loyals,individuals who have contributed greatly to the state and University. This years honorees are Dr. Thomas S. and Jean Clonch Clark, Most Loyal West Virginians; Alfred F. Ware, Most Loyal Alumni Mountaineer; Dr. Douglas D. Glover, Most Loyal Faculty Mountaineer; Betty Bea Cox, Most Loyal Staff Mountaineer; and the late Dr. Anthony DiBartolomeo,Spiritaward.

Mountaineer Idolfinals will be 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14, in the Mountainlair Ballrooms. The winner will take home $1,000 and sing the national anthem at a mens basketball game. Admission is $5, and half the proceeds will go to the WVU Memorial Scholarship Fund.

No reflection on the finalists, but a turkey-calling demonstration by world and grand national champion Chris Walls will precedeMountaineer Idolat 2:30 p.m. in the Ballrooms. Admission is $5.

Other highlights of the week:

* MONDAY , NOV. 15

  • PRT Cram4 p.m., outside theLair


  • Hamburger-eating finalsnoon,Lair food court

Beard-growing finals1 p.m.,Lair grand staircase

* FRIDAY , NOV. 19

  • Apple butter sale10 a.m.-6 p.m., outside theLair

Craft fair1-9 p.m., Ballrooms

Quilt show1-9 p.m., Mountaineer Room and Ballroom stage

Country vittles dinner5-7:30 p.m., Hatfields


  • Family Fun Daynoon-5 p.m.,Lair, first floor

Apple butter sale10 a.m.-6 p.m., outside theLair

Craft fair11 a.m.-8 p.m., Ballrooms

Quilt show11 a.m.-8 p.m., Mountaineer Room and Ballroom stage

Clogging competition3 p.m., Gluck Theatre

Fiddle contest7:30 p.m., Gluck Theatre

* SUNDAY , NOV. 21

  • Apple butter salenoon-5 p.m., outside theLair

Craft fairnoon-5 p.m., Ballrooms

Quilt shownoon-5 p.m., Mountaineer Room and Ballroom stage

A detailed schedule of events is available online. Go tohttp://www.wvu.eduand click on the Mountaineer Week icon.