Second annual Loving Appalachia Day celebrated


 

The sound of dulcimers filled the Memorial Student Center Thursday as musicians showed off their skills as part of the second annual Loving Appalachia Day.

Local companies, artisans and nonprofit organizations had tables and set up displays showing what makes Appalachia so unique and showcased the pride Appalachians have for the area.

Appalachia stretches from New York to Georgia. Within the region are several unique communities, historically separated from the rest of the country by mountains and valleys.

Appalachia was settled mostly by Irish, Scottish and German families who blended all of their cultures into one of the most unique and interesting cultures in America.

Roger Estep, an intern with the Appalachian Studies Association said when he first started college, he wanted to get a degree and then leave the area like so many other people do. Estep said he wants to show students there is something here in Appalachia for them.

“I realized that Appalachia is a great place and will always be home,” Estep said. “I want to instill that mindset in others here.”

Historically, the region has been used by outsiders for the abundance of natural resources, such as coal and timber.

Loving Appalachia Day is aimed at bringing pride to the Appalachian people and give those people hope for a better future all while teaching them about the past.

Food and treats were available, such as the strongly flavored, bitter root candy called Horehound, a favorite among the older generations in the area.

The Wild Ramp, a local nonprofit farmer’s market also had a booth at the event.

The Wild Ramp offers several different groceries and goods from local farms.

“About 75 percent of everything we sell comes from within 50 miles of our store,” said Brianna Griffith, assistant manager at The Wild Ramp.

West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, an environmental activist organization, was passing out bumper stickers and literature in an effort to raise awareness against environmental hazards in the Mountain State.

The Cabell County Library was present, advertising a genealogy research program for the Tri-State area to get people more interested in their family history and local history.

John Cole Glover can be contacted at [email protected]