Each year Mountaineer Week gives WVU students and the Morgantown community the chance to learn more about West Virginia and Appalachian culture and heritage.
Events hosted throughout the week bring the history of the Mountain State to life, and help teach students and community members about the rich and varied culture of the state and region. This year’s Mountaineer Week will not only focus on the state’s culture and heritage, but will also highlight the history of Appalachian music, which found its beginning in the Mountain State.
Sonja Wilson, Mountaineer Week adviser said Mountaineer Week gives the campus, community, state and region the opportunity to learn more about West Virginia and Appalachian culture and heritage.
“Our West Virginia hills will ring with the sounds of fiddles, banjos and dulcimers during Mountaineer Week this year as we celebrate Appalachian Music,” she said. “Appalachian people share a common cultural heritage that is expressed through their speech and dialect, their building methods and crafts, and most of all their music. Musical traditions from our homeland are important links to the past and must be cherished and passed through generations.”
Because this year’s celebration is focused on Appalachian Music, numerous premier events have been planned to highlight the region’s deep music traditions. A Mountain Music Concert featuring the WVU Bluegrass Band with take place Friday, Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. in the Gluck Theatre in the Mountainlair. An old fashioned square dance presented by the Friends of Old Time Music will follow at 9:30 p.m. in the Mountainlair Food Court.
The square dance will feature caller Taylor Runner, the Mountaineer Week Square Dance Band and Chris Haddox. On Saturday, Oct. 25, the WVU College of Creative Arts will present the annual Mountaineer Week Fiddle Contest at 7:30 p.m. in the Gluck Theatre.
The Mountaineer Week Craft Fair & Quilt Show, a favorite among students and community members, will take place Oct. 24-26. More than 60 artisans from West Virginia and the surrounding states will come together to showcase their skills and sell their products. The event will take place on the second floor of the Mountainlair.
Family Fun Day will take place Oct. 25 from noon-5 p.m. Children will have the opportunity to enjoy fun games and prizes. Horse and buggy rides will also be available, weather permitting, along with other fun events taking place both inside and outside the Mountainlair.
Color My College 5K, the only fun-run that uses your school colors, presented by WVU Veterans and featuring WVAQ’s DJ Jason Knight, will take place Saturday, Oct. 25. For more information or to register for the race, visit http://colormycollege.com/races/west-virginia-university
New to Mountaineer Week is a blacksmithing presentation, demonstrated by Andrew Rice from Sky Forge Blacksmithing. There will also be a station where attendees can watch fresh apple butter making by Laurel Point United Methodist Church. Both demonstrations will be take place in front of the Mountainlair Oct. 24-25.
The Mountaineer Week Challenge will take place throughout the week, with a variety of competitions including the Food Court Contest and the annual Scavenger Hunt. A true Mountaineer Week tradition, the PRT Cram, will take place Oct. 27 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Walking Ghost Tour, a favorite event among students, will be back again this year. Ghost stories will be told at various buildings on the Downtown Campus, with a reception at 7 p.m. in the Vandalia Lounge. The tour will begin at 7:30pm in E. Moore Hall.
Mountaineer Mascot Michael Garcia will host the beard shaving competition finale Oct. 29 at noon on the grand staircase in the Mountainlair.
WVUp All Night will present zombie makeup in the Vandalia Lounge and The Daily Grind Band in the Mountainlair Commons on Halloween Day (Oct. 31).
Mountaineer Week will host the Student LOT, an event held before every home game for students to enjoy an alcohol-free environment, before the WVU vs. Texas Christian University football game on Nov. 1.
Student LOT events include games, raffles, free food and a Chili Cook-Off. At halftime, Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer and the Most Loyals will be announced.
Mountaineer Week will come to a close on Nov. 2 with the finale of Mountaineer Idol at 3 p.m. in the Mountainlair Ballroom.
Summer Ratcliff, Mountaineer Week co-chair said Mountaineer Week is an excellent time for students and community members to celebrate their Appalachian heritage.
“Even if you aren’t from West Virginia or this region originally, when you come to Morgantown and West Virginia University you are immediately adopted into this great culture. This opportunity to celebrate our state’s and University’s origins is something all students and community members should seize. Additionally, the events and competitions made available during Mountaineer Week are a chance to create lasting memories with family and friends,” she said.
For a complete schedule of Mountaineer Week events, visit http://mountaineerweek.wvu.edu/events.
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