Beckley, WV – (WWNR) – The Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center hosted the 58th Annual Appalachian Maker’s Market this past Friday and Saturday.
Over 80 vendors were there, selling handmade items from artists and craftsmen from West Virginia and the Appalachian region.
“Today has been a great day,” said Michelle Rotellini, President and CEO of the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber Of Commerce. “We have had lots of community members come out, lots of shopping going on. Everybody is getting to check out all of the unique wares that our makers and artisans have made for this event, and we’re just excited to be here. 58 years and going strong.”
“It’s always been the Appalachian Arts and Crafts Fair. But the word Makers has been trending. It’s how artisans like to be referred to nowadays. And so we decided to do a name change. You know, probably for the past ten years we had seen a little bit of a decline. So we wanted to encourage new people to come out to the show. So we thought it might be a great way to revitalize it a little bit.”
There was also music from artists like Daniel Lilly, food trucks set up at the entrance of the Makers Market, and dancing from the Lincoln County Cloggers.
One of the most popular attractions at the Makers Market was the Appalachian Treasures Quilt Show. More than 60 handmade quilts were displayed around the arena at the Convention Center under the theme “Garden Party.”
“It’s very popular. It kind of has its ups and downs. Last year we didn’t have as many quilts, but we are happy to see more this year,” said Gail McCray of the Appalachian Treasures Quilt Show.
“Some of them are wall hangings and some smaller household items as well. There are a lot of things that the judges look for. If it hangs straight and you have to look at the detail work and do the corners match and all that kind of thing, there are a lot of things. It’s not just looking at it quickly and making a decision, the judge agonizes over it.”
Later that evening, the Appalachian Street Fair was held on Neville, Heber and Main Streets in downtown Beckley.
“It’s been a wonderful evening. We’ve had a really good time,” said Jill Moorefield of Beckley Events. We’ve got lots of wonderful vendors up here, some food trucks, and some other different types of vendors, along with a great big climbing mountain that kids can climb on, and there’s inflatable axe throwing down at the Axe Hole. We just got the bounce house going here. It’s, it’s been a really good evening People just like to get out and enjoy the community. We like to have a lot of new pop up shops and businesses that are just getting started. This gives them a chance to be marketing in a fun atmosphere and giving people a taste of what they offer.”
There was music from the New River Jazz Band and Jim Snyder and Friends. And 103cir held its ever popular Oreo Stacking Contest.
Top winners in the food categories were Tea Time for its Club Sandwich and New River Slices for its Cinnamon Roll. Hilltop Mobile won for most attractive booth, the Raleigh County Veterans Museum for most interesting booth, and the Axe Hole won the Peoples Choice Award for its inflatable axe throwing booth.