Rhododendron Festival happenings in May 2024:

Beckley, WV – The Annual Rhododendron Festival is getting ready to kick off during the month of May. From
rhododendron-themed activities to other local spring events, the festival will span a few weeks
during the month offering special events, art activities, music, walks and recreational
On May 11, the annual Coffee and Tea Celebration is merging with Sweet Treats and the
Emergency Preparedness Fair downtown between 11 am and 2 pm. The event includes
sampling coffee, tea, desserts, plus local youth performances, and booths at the Emergency
Preparedness Fair. The funds raised from sampling tickets sales will benefit United Way and the
Bill Withers statue. Youth groups performing during the event include the Woodrow Wilson
High School Choral / Theatre students and Strings of Green at Word Park, and the Beckley
Children Theatre Ministry and Seeking Altitude near the Cardinals Plaza.
Sampling tickets are being presold online and at the Youth Museum and will be sold at The
Raleigh Playhouse & Theatre on event day. For $5, purchasers receive 5 sample tickets and a
voting coin. Larger portions can also be purchased by some of the vendors.
A Candyland themed inflatable is being co-sponsored by the Beckley Water Company, and
balloon animals will be made for the kids. Also, meet the festival royalty during the event.
Also, an Appalachian Paranormal Convention will be at the Raleigh Playhouse & Theatre and Sir
From May 11 – 24, enter the Rhododendron Photo Contest with Active Southern WV. Submit a
photo of a rhododendron to the 2024 Rhododendron Festival Photo Contest event page with
the hashtag #WVRhodofest24 by noon on May 24 for a chance to win a prize – the winner is
selected by the most “likes”. The contest is for amateur photographers only. Please enter only
one or two per person to be judged. Winners will be announced on May 24.
The Raleigh County Library has planned several activities for the festival. A rhododendron-
themed Painting with Sarah will be offered on Tuesday, May 14 at 4:00 pm – must pre-register,
registration opens May 1. The library’s phone number is 304-255-0511. A children’s Flower
Power Slime Time will happen from 12pm until supplies are gone beginning on May 11 th . An
adult craft activity of making Paper Rhododendrons is planned from 4pm until supplies are
gone on May 16 th .
On Wednesday, May 15 (or rain date: May 22), a Waterfall Wednesday Walk at the Piney Creek
Preserve is planned at 5:30 pm with WV Land Trust. Two waterfalls on this trail are included on
the State’s Waterfall Trail. Meet in the parking lot at the end of the old Stanaford Mine Road off
Stanaford Road near Brandie’s Mufflers. Please pre-register online at so organizers can plan for the event.
Three events are happening on Saturday, May 18: The Rhododendron Festival Pickleball
tournament will be held at New River Park. Call Dave Barksdale at 304-673-8390 for information or to
register. Also, the annual Founder’s Day at Wildwood House Museum celebration will take place from

11 am – 2 pm. Plus, The Pottery Place will host a watercolor painting activity making flower
cards, 11:30 am. Preregistration recommended.
While you can visit Grandview Park anytime during May to see the lovely rhododendron
blooms, you can take a guided walk with a National Park Service Ranger on Sunday, May 19.
Meet at the Visitors Center at either 2:30 or 3:00 pm to join the tour.
Food, music, and a walk are on the agenda for Thursday, May 23. Enjoy music by Shane Ingram
in the Beckley Underground from 5:30-7 pm. The Fruits of Labor Pizzeria & Coffee Shop will be
open during the evening for dining. Also on Thursday, May 23, the monthly Full Moon Walk
with Active Southern WV, McManus Trail will meet at the McManus Trail Art Park /3 rd Ave
parking lot at 7:30 pm to take a 2-mile group walk along the trail.
Another Full Moon Walk with Active Southern WV is planned at Grandview on Friday evening,
May 24, at 7:30 pm.
The Rhododendron Festival Car Show and Concert at the Beckley Intermodal Gateway is set for
Saturday, May 25 from 4-8 pm. Vehicle registration is from 4-6 pm, $10 (half proceeds to the
Bill Withers Statue). A free concert by the Krista Hughes Band is scheduled from 5:00-7:30 pm.
The festival will end with a new event on Memorial Day called Cars, Coffee, and Cruise with
Archies’ Cruisers. Cruise cars will line up in the parking lot beside Word Park, downtown
between 10 am and 11 am on May 27. Then at 11 am, a Memorial Day ceremony including the
Pledge of Allegiance, patriotic songs, and the history of Memorial Day will happen at the
gazebo. At 11:30 am, a cruise will leave Word Park, driving through downtown and along
Kanawha Street, ending at the American Legion cemetery. Free tours of the Wildwood
Cemetery will be offered by Scott Worley. Wildwood may be open 12-1 pm.
For more festival details, follow Beckley Events on Facebook, visit Beckley.Events community
calendar, or call Beckley Events at 304-256-1776.