The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

August 23, 2012

Oak Leaf Festival kicks off tonight with wine, cheese

OAK HILL —  Just as the area’s mighty oak trees grew from tiny acorns, the city’s Oak Leaf Festival has blossomed from its humble beginnings in 1999 into an extensive 11-day event.

The 14th annual Oak Leaf Festival, carrying the theme of “Welcome Boy Scouts of America,” is scheduled to run today through Sept. 2. A wine and cheese tasting at the White Oak Country Club is the festival’s first event today from 5 to 8 p.m.

Royalty will be crowned Saturday, to reign over the festival and to represent the Oak Leaf Festival and Miss Bridge Day pageants at later statewide competitions.

Also on Saturday, the annual Oak Leaf Depot Days begins at the Lewis Community Foundation’s Christian Community Center and at the White Oak Depot. Visitors may enjoy handcar rides, demonstrations of railroad motor cars, a museum tour as well as a blacksmith demonstration in addition to all the exhibits in the community center.

Depot Days continues on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., and the Oak Leaf Festival Kids’ Pageant begins Sunday with registration at 1:30 p.m. at the Oak Hill High auditorium.

The popular Lost Cannon Band will perform during Knee Deep in Bluegrass at the amphitheater beside City Hall on Monday from 7 to 9 p.m., and Family Fun Night is slated for 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday at Chico’s on Main Street East, Oak Hill. Also, 3 Card Monte will perform.

The annual Oak Leaf Festival gospel sing is slated for 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Oak Hill Church of the Nazarene, and Oak Hill residents will have a chance to test their performance abilities against their neighbors from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30 at Oak Hill’s Touch of Talent.

The festival’s second weekend, always the most jam-packed of the event, will feature Fun Factory Inflatables and more for the youngsters at the city parking lot behind Chase Bank from 6 to 10 p.m., and a concert by Switch from 7 to 10 p.m. at the amphitheater. At dusk, the parade of lights is planned.

Festival visitors can get an early start on Saturday, Sept. 1 at the Oak Hill Lions Club’s annual pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. at the Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church on Oyler Avenue. The raising of the flag and performance of the national anthem will be at 10 a.m. next to the amphitheater on Main Street, and live performances also are scheduled there throughout the day.

Craft and food vendors will be located along Main Street from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and the inflatables will be set up at the city parking lot.

The popular Oak Leaf Festival parade will roll down Main Street at 11 a.m. and Plateau Medical Center’s annual health fair will take place from noon to 2 p.m. on the lawn at The Lewis House on Main Street.

An Elvis impersonator will perform to kick off the cruise-in and street dance at the amphitheater on Main Street beginning at 6 p.m. followed by a concert by The Collegians.

The center of activity switches to another part of town on Sunday, Sept. 2 as the annual car and bike show will run from 1 to 5 p.m. at Oak Hill High on Oyler Avenue. The festival’s annual chili cook-off will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. next door at the Fayette Institute of Technology, and the fireworks display is set for 8:30 p.m. at the high school. Rain date for the fireworks, if needed, is Monday, Sept. 3.

In commemoration of the terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, the annual Oak Leaf Parade of Honor will be held at dusk on Tuesday, Sept. 11, with a memorial ceremony to follow at the football field at Collins Middle School.

The complete schedule of events is as follows:

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