Top Events and Festivals in West Virginia
Explore this selection of the top annual events and festivals, fairs and celebrations (listed in calendar priority) in West Virginia.
Please note: Top Events USA does not include every single event on offer in West Virginia – only those recognized as the best by residents of West Virginia, visitors to the "Mountain State", the team of travel writers working for Top Events USA and officials of West Virginia too.
West Virginia is known as the “Mountain State” in reference to the Appalachian Mountains highlighting the eastern portion of the state.
Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
The award-winning Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting welcomes more than one hundred waters from across the country and around the globe. Held in the historic spa town of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, it is the largest water tasting competition in the world. Municipal waters compete for the coveted honor of best tasting tap water, g bottled waters, both still and sparkling, and waters in a new category, purified drinking water. The public has an opportunity to vote for the People's Choice award for best packaging.
For more information about the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting visit:
Buckhannon, West Virginia
A unique, traditional celebration to promote the strawberry harvest, the Strawberry Festival offers good, family style entertainment that offers exciting educational and cultural events for everyone. There is a carnival, arts and craft exhibits, quilt show, photography show, souvenir shop, band competition, car show, strawberry auction, all rounded off with the huge block parties on Friday and Saturday nights.
For more information about the Strawberry Festival in Buckhannon visit: http://www.wvstrawberryfestival.com/
late May (Memorial Day Weekend)
Charleston, West Virginia
A free celebration of the traditional arts, music, dance, stories, crafts and food of West Virginia held at the Cultural Center and State Capitol grounds, the Vandalia Gathering showcases West Virginia’s traditional mountain culture by showcasing craftspeople and performers. Through a variety of exhibitions and programs, the festival attracts thousands of visitors from across the Mountain State and the entire country to celebrate traditions passed from generation to generation.
For more information about the Vandalia Gathering in Charleston visit:
mid - late June
Charleston, West Virginia
FestivALL Charleston was conceived in 2004 and first produced in 2005 with the aim to produce and present high-quality artistic events including all of the arts: music, dance, theater, visual art and film – both national and international artists as well as the best local and regional talent. Even though all the events fall under the umbrella of FestivALL, many are produced or co-produced by different organizations. Much of the work is done through volunteer committees with help from the City of Charleston and other local institutions and arts groups.
For more information about FestivALL in Charleston visit:
Mountain State Arts & Craft Fair
Ripley, West Virginia
The Mountain State Art and Craft Fair has been a West Virginia family tradition since 1963. Known widely as the “Grandaddy of Art and Craft Fairs” in the region, the fair has served as a model for how to execute a professional and successful arts and craft fair event. Now over 45 years old, the fair introduces attendees to the best of world-class artisan exhibitors and their excellent craftsmanship, as well as entertainers, contests and fine foods.
For more information about the Mountain State Arts & Craft Fair in Ripley visit:
Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival
Wheeling, West Virginia
The Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival is the largest Italian Festival in West Virginia and the 2nd largest in the United States and is now an event that attracts more than 175,000 visitors from around the United States and Canada. As well as food, the festival also offers free entertainment, local Italian folk music and dance, arts and crafts booths and numerous games-of-skill.
For more information about the Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival in Wheeling visit:
State Fair of West Virginia
Lewisburg, West Virginia
Winner of three top awards in the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) annual industry wide communications awards contest, the State Fair of West Virginia has been a popular event attracting more than 200,000 annual visitors for more than 86 years, featuring a wide variety of attractions including a carnival, competitive farmers exhibitions, harness racing, farming exhibitions, nightly concerts, and even bingo contests and a beauty queen competition.
For more information about the State Fair of West Virginia in Lewisburg visit:
West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival
August/September (Labor Day Weekend)
Clarksburg, West Virginia
Pride in the cultural heritage of Italian-Americans in West Virginia gave life to the idea of a Festival in Clarksburg to honor the past, celebrate the present, and preserve rich traditions for future generations. With each successive year, the festival has grown, and now is rated one of the "Top 100 Events in North America" including Canada and Mexico. Each year, this 3-day street festival brings over 100,000 visitors to Clarksburg. From the opening ceremonies, when the royal court of Regina Maria (Regina meaning "Queen" and Maria the name of the first queen of Italy), is crowned, to its conclusion with the traditional festival ball, the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival attracts visitors from across the country.
For more information about the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival in Clarksburg visit: http://www.wvihf.com
Mountain State Forest Festival
late September - early October
Elkins, West Virginia
A tradition since 1930, this 8-day event presents a variety of shows, exhibitions, and competitions, many of them related to the forest theme. It is the largest and oldest festival in the state of West Virginia. Competitions are held in such traditional skills as log stacking, muzzle loading, archery, spear throwing (atlatl), horseshoe pitching, and various logging skills for the title of champion lumberjack. Several traditional crafts exhibits are displayed, including a juried arts and crafts show. The two-hour Grand Feature Parade, covering over two miles, includes nearly 20 bands, floats, and special units.
For more information about the Mountain State Forest Festival in Elkins visit:
Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Celebrating the wealth of apples and an abundant harvest, the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival has been a popular event for more than 32 years, and features a wide selection of events from the coronation of the Apple Harvest Fest Queen Pomona to the Grand Feature Parade as well as a variety of “apple” events such as the Baby Apple Seed Contest and the Apple Pie Baking Contest, and not forgetting the Soroptimist Grand Ball and the Panhandlers Square Dance and much more.
For more information about the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival in Martinsburg visit:
New River Gorge – Fayetteville, West Virginia
Spectators come to the New River Gorge Bridge Day Festival from all over the world to enjoy the largest extreme sports event in the world with hundreds of BASE jumpers and nearly 80,000 spectators. The New River Gorge Bridge, 876' tall and the world's second longest single arch bridge, serves as the launch point for six hours (9am-3pm EST) of safe, legal BASE jumps.
For more information about Bridge Day visit:
Winter Festival of Lights
Wheeling, West Virginia
In 1985 a holiday tradition began in Wheeling called the Winter Festival of Lights/City of Lights celebration. Since then the show has grown into one of the nation's largest, covering more than 300 acres over a six-mile drive throughout the resort. The Winter Festival of Lights has been listed on the American Bus Association's Top International Events, was named as a top 100 event by Eventcrazy.com and was recently listed as one of the top 200 events in the country by Discover America.
For more information about the Winter Festival of Lights in Wheeling visit: