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Artisans, Exhibitors, Vendors Invited to Bluefield College Appalachian Festival

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            Bluefield College will host its annual "Celebration of Appalachia," April 7-12, culminating, as always, with the traditional daylong Appalachian Festival, Saturday, April 12.
Open to the community at-large and featuring local artists, crafters, musicians, cooks, authors, storytellers,outdoorsmen and other vendors and talents, the Appalachian Festival will runfrom 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 12. More than 50 vendors took part in the celebration last year, and the college hopes even more will participate in 2014.
            Interested vendors are invited to contact the college for a vendor application. Contact BC's Kristy Stout by e-mail at kstout@bluefield.edu or by phone at 276-326-4246. Vendors may also access an application online at www.bluefield.edu/appalachia.
Vendors participating in the Appalachian Festival will receive a long table for their demonstration/sales area, provided by the college. Vendors may bring up to two additional tables of their own and are encouraged to bring to cover their demonstration areas. Vendor spaces are $10, and fees must be paid by the morning of the festival.
            A typical Appalachian Festival in years past has featured artists and craftsmen exhibiting and selling quilts, crochet, woodwork, stuffed animals, birdhouses, jewelry and soaps. Food vendors have sold homemade bread, desserts and kettle corn. Musicians have played bluegrass music and Appalachian-born instruments, while outdoorsmen have demonstrated turkey calling, fly-fishing, and bait-casting. Joining the vendors each year: hundreds of locals looking for a day of family fun.
"It's wonderful!" said Dr. Emily Lambert, a BC biology professor who came out to enjoy the festival in 2013. "I grew up in the Appalachian region all of my life. We have a wonderful place to live here. This is what it's all about. To me, it's very relaxing."
The day might also include book sales and signings with authors, along with storytelling from local historians. Vendors and exhibitors of all kinds are invited to join the fun.
            "It should be a wonderful day for the family to celebrate Appalachia," said last year's festival coordinator Brenda Workman. "Bring your camping chairs and stay for the day."
            Bluefield College launched its annual Celebration of Appalachia in the fall of 2011, featuring lectures, concerts, exhibits, discussions, movies, theatre, tours, festivals, and other educational and entertaining activities designed to honor the Appalachian heritage. The marquee event, the festival, began in the spring of 2012.
            For a vendor registration form for this year's festival or for more information, visit the Bluefield College web site at www.bluefield.edu/appalachia.
 
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