Randolph County has joined four other West Virginia counties to create the Mountain Music Trail, a regional partnership devoted to promoting cultural tourism and sustainable economic development through traditional music, dance and folkways of the Allegheny Mountain region.
"We are excited about the Music Mountain Trail and how it will assist local groups and businesses in promoting events and festivals in our county and region," said Brenda Pritt, executive director of the Randolph County Convention and Visitors Bureau. "This new initiative brings together visitors and residents alike, to enjoy and participate in traditional mountain music."
The Mountain Music Trail music genres are focused on old-time, bluegrass, regionally significant ethnic, country and gospel that ties to place.
"The Mountain Music Trail provides visitors a way to experience our brand of traditional mountain music while also preserving the unique music heritage of the region," Pritt said.
The Mountain Music Trail is loosely based along the U.S. Route 219 corridor. It currently has 27 partners and is growing.
"There are several venues in the five counties offering regularly scheduled traditional music. The product is there, we simply need to build the brand," said Cara Rose, executive director of the Pocahontas County CVB and coordinator of the Mountain Music Trail.
Five major kick-off events will be held in each county in the coming months. Each featured event will highlight the music that symbolizes the traditional sounds of the Appalachian Mountains. The upcoming music and square dancing events include:
-Aug. 31 - 7:30 p.m., Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys at the Pocahontas Opera House, Marlinton. Admission: $8.
-Sept. 6 - 8:30 p.m., Hillbilly Gypsies at The Purple Fiddle Cafe, Thomas. Admission: $12.
-Sept. 19 -7 p.m., Old-time traditional square dance at Carnegie Hall, Lewisburg, Admission: $5 .
-Oct. 19 - 2 p.m., Little Sparrow, Festival in the Hills, Salt Sulphur Springs Resort, Union (festival admission applies).
-Nov. 1-3 - 20th Annual Fiddlers Reunion, Augusta Heritage Center, Elkins.
Additional music events can be found on the events calendar of the website, www.mountainmusictrail.com. Music is one of the best ways to introduce visitors to the local culture.
This music trail offers a wide assortment of venues and unique music entertainment of the West Virginia mountains, Pritt said.
Rose added, "And more and more, travel surveys indicate that people seek out vacation destinations where there is opportunity to experience the local culture."