Spring in West Virginia is the perfect time to get the family out and show the kiddos just how much our state has to offer. Here are five cheap ideas to spend some quality time with the fam this May.
1.Take a Ride at the Strawberry Festival
If you’ve never been to the West Virginia Strawberry Festival then you are missing out. Started in 1936 to help strawberry farmers during the Great Depression, this event transformed into a Buckhannon tradition. There’s a huge carnival, pageants, a band competition, and the grand parade on Saturday.
WHEN: The festivities start Saturday, May 14 but the carnival doesn’t open until Monday, May 16. The festival runs through Sunday, May 22. Check out the full event schedule.
WHERE: Downtown Buckhannon
HOW MUCH: You’ll probably want some food and some tickets so the kiddos can ride rides, but can’t imagine spending more than $30-$40 a person.
2. Attend the Grafton Memorial Day Parade
Grafton, not far from Bridgeport off I-79 in North Central West Virginia, is home to the West Virginia National Cemetery. The tradition of honoring local vets on Memorial Day goes back for over 145 years! Come teach the kids what service and sacrifice look like, while listening to some great marching bands and maybe even getting candy! (Also if you’re around that weekend there are fireworks!)
WHEN: Memorial Day – Monday. May 30. Parade usually starts around 10 a.m.
WHERE: Downton Grafton
HOW MUCH: Free!
3. Eat some Ramps!
Have your kids had ramps yet? Why not make this spring the spring to change that? There are a TON of ramp festivals and dinners happening around the state to give you kids their first taste of this West Virginia tradition.
4. Listen to Some Bluegrass at the North Bend Bluegrass Festival
It’s time to turn down the rock and rap music and get back to our our roots. Take the kiddos to the 22nd Annual (that’s a long time!) Bluegrass Festival at North Bend State Park. It will be a “fun filled weekend of pickin’, grinin’, pluckin’, and singin’ with and by great bluegrass bands from the wild, wonderful state of West Virginia and from the surrounding region” according to organizers. Acts include: The Hillbilly Gypsies, Johnny Staats and the Delivery Boys, and The Moron Brothers.
WHEN: Evenings of Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14. Here are the full details.
WHERE: North Bend State Park
HOW MUCH: $10 for Friday, $25 for Saturday
5. Learn About Our Shared Past at Matewan Heritage Day
If there’s any story our children should be taught, its about what happened in Matewan. On May 21, come out for Matewan Heritage Day, which will feature re-enactments of the shootout, street vendors and live music. Obviously not for the little ones, but this could be a great way to have some fun and learn about our state’s history with the older kiddos.
WHEN: Saturday, May 19
WHERE: Downtown Matewan
HOW MUCH: Free – Find out more about Matewan Heritage Day