On Saturday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery on East Main Street, the Freshwater Folk Festival will combine invigorating and soothing musical performances with activities that entertain and inform children and adults about streams, wildlife biology, and protection of our freshwater environment. Food, arts, and crafts will available for purchase from vendors.
At 10 a.m., music performances will begin with Charleston-area band Trail Magic. That name fits well with the festival’s emphasis on the enjoyment and preservation of woodlands and streams. Trail Magic’s picking and singing style comes from their Appalachian heritage, and they will get the Freshwater Folk Festival off to a good start.
At noon, Krista Hughes will return to the festival stage with her guitar and good ol’ traditional and some contemporary country music vocals. She played and sang in the same spot two years ago. As she did in 2014, she will perform with Steve Sparks on drums, Jay Milam on guitar, and bassist, Rob Sizemore. For Hughes’ 2015 televised audition on The Voice, she sang “Angel from Montgomery,” and the judges raved about her singing.
The 2-4 p.m. slot will feature a duo of Don Steck and Mike Clark, now known as New River Twain. They perform a blend of songs that combines Americana, folk, blues, and roots music, with Clark on guitar and vocals and Steck on vocals, guitar, slide guitar and harp. They have been playing music together for more than 30 years and are currently members of the band Squawkin’ Henry. Steck previously played with the Juice Band, Red Star Rockets, and the Nightcrawlers, and Clark played with the Raleigh County Rounders.
Wildlife presenters will include Roy Moose from the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center who will generate a lot of interest with his presentations featuring the snakes that he brings to the hatchery. West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center staff will present hawks and owls that are currently being cared for at their facility in Fairmont.
Local watershed organizations working to protect the rivers, creeks, runs, and drafts in our area will help the folks at the festival learn more about the precious, flowing freshwater in our area. There will be presentations by forest service, wildlife refuge, and natural resources agencies.
Hands-on activities for kids and grownups are always an especially important part of the Freshwater Folk Festival. In keeping with the nature of the festival, Sharon Ginsburg will lead the children in the folding of origami jumping frogs from 1-2 p.m. The Greenbrier Sporting Club, Trout Unlimited, and the Vietnam Veterans Association will all pitch in to provide activities for festival-goers.
Displays of nature art created by elementary school students and winning middle school science fair projects will also be featured.
Those with handicapped certification will enter through the main hatchery entrance and park next to the hatchery office. Everyone else must turn from East Main Street onto Hemlock Drive (the second street to the west of the hatchery) and park on the grass behind the hatchery.
Visit the festival website for the event poster, performer information, etc. at www.freshwaterfolkfestival.org.