FROM STAFF REPORTS
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 Aug. 23 through Sept. 2. A wise and cheese tasting at the White Oak Country Club is the festival’s first event from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23.
Royalty will be crowned Saturday, Aug. 25 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, Aug. 26 from 12 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 band Lost Cannon will perform during Knee Deep in Bluegrass at the amphitheater beside City Hall on Monday, Aug. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m., and Family Fun Night is slated for 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28 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, Aug. 29 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 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 12 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.
14th Annual Oak Leaf Festival Aug. 23 to Sept. 2
Thursday, Aug. 23
5 to 8 p.m. — Oak Leaf Wine & Cheese Tasting: $, White Oak Country Club, Country Club Road
Saturday, Aug. 25
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Oak Leaf Depot Days: Hand car rides, railway motor car demos, museum tour, blacksmith demo; all this at the Depot with exhibits at the Lewis Community Foundation’s Christian Community Center
4 p.m. — Miss Oak Leaf/Miss Teen Pageant: $, Oak Hill High School auditorium, Oyler Avenue; Miss Oak Leaf winner to go to Fairs & Festivals Pageant
Sunday, Aug. 26
12 noon to 5 p.m. — Oak Leaf Depot Days: Hand car rides, railway motor car demos, museum tour, blacksmith demo; all this at the Depot with exhibits at the Lewis Community Foundation’s Christian Community Center
2 p.m. — Kids’ Pageant: $, registration 1:30 p.m., Oak Hill High School auditorium
Monday, Aug. 27
7 to 9 p.m. — Knee Deep in Bluegrass with Lost Cannon: amphitheater beside City Hall; sponsored by GFWC and Fayette Awning & Glass
Tuesday, Aug. 28
6 to 9 p.m. — Family Fun Night: Entertainment and kids’ activities, Chico’s, East Main Street; 3 Card Monte performing
Wednesday, Aug. 29
7 to 8:30 p.m. — Gospel sing: Oak Hill Church of the Nazarene
Thursday, Aug. 30
6 to 8 p.m. — Oak Hill’s Touch of Talent: amphitheater beside City Hall, bring your lawn chair
Friday, Aug. 31
6 to 10 p.m. — Fun Factory Inflatables & more: $, city parking lot, Chase Bank
7 to 10 p.m. — Oak Hill’s Rockin’ with Switch: amphitheater beside City Hall, bring your lawn chair
Dusk — Intermission: Parade of Lights, Main Street
Saturday, Sept. 1
Fun Factory Inflatables & more: $, city parking lot, Chase Bank
7 to 10 a.m. — Lions Club Pancake Breakfast: sponsored by Oak Hill Lions Club at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church
10 a.m. — Raising of the flag and National Anthem: amphitheater, Main Street, live performances throughout the day, bring your lawn chairs
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Craft and food vendors: downtown, Main Street
11 a.m. — Oak Leaf Parade: Main Street
12 noon to 2 p.m. — Plateau Medical Center Health Fair: Lewis House lawn, Main Street
6 to 10 p.m. — Cruise-In and Street Dance: opening act, Elvis impersonator; main act, The Collegians, amphitheater, Main Street
Sunday, Sept. 2
1 to 5 p.m. — Car and Bike Show: Oak Hill High School, Oyler Avenue
5:30 to 8:30 p.m. — Chili Cook-Off: Fayette Institute of Technology, Oyler Avenue
8:30 p.m. — Fireworks display: Oak Hill High School, Oyler Avenue (rain date: Monday, Sept. 3)
Tuesday, Sept. 11
Dusk — 5th annual Oak Leaf Parade of Honor: Memorial ceremony to follow at Collins Football Field
Sponsors: City of Oak Hill; Jan-Care Ambulance Service; New River Gorge Convention & Visitor’s Bureau; AmherstMadison: Jim Lively Insurance, Oak Hill; Bessie’s Floral; Oak Hill Fire Department; Wendy’s; Fayette County Commission; Plateau Medical Center; GFWC New River Junior Women’s Club; Tyree Funeral Home; Co-Mac; Whipple Company Store; Vinyl Destinations; Chase
For more information, call 304-465-5617 or 800-927-0263; or visit the New River Gorge Convention & Visitors Bureau website at www.newrivergorgecvb.com or the festival site at www.oakleaffestival.org.