For the past 45 years, on the 3rd Saturday of September, Christiansburg has closed Main Street to host the Kiwanis Wilderness Trail Festival. Bernie and I have lived here for the last 8 of those years and it just keeps getting bigger and better.
This year’s festivities begin the night before when Great Roads on Main presents Wayne Henderson & Helen White in concert. Henderson is known worldwide for both his lightening fast guitar style and the beautiful guitars, mandolins, and banjos he crafts in his shop in Rugby, Virginia. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall and toured with Masters of the Steel-String Guitar. Singer, fiddler and guitarist Helen White has toured with Wayne throughout the U.S. and Europe and is the founder of the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program introducing students in 25 mountain counties in Virginia, North and South Carolina to their musical heritage.
The festival is always lots of fun featuring local artisans, a street rods cruise-in and classic cars, two stages of live local entertainment, a Kid’s Zone with free activities, craft demonstrators and delicious food from area restaurants and local food trucks. New for 2018 is the Home Improvement Row. There is always a project at The Oaks so gotta check that out.
Demos this year will feature basket weaving, a black smith, broom making, leather craft, wool spinning, quilting and wood turning. Last year there were artists and vendors selling stained glass, pottery, hand knit goods, Hokie stuff, garden art, leather goods, kitchen goodies, food and more. We bought a turned wood bowl with an inlay made from colored pencils, very unique and really beautiful. I know many past vendors will be back and I’m looking forward to some new ones.
The Main Stage entertainment has not yet been announced but there will be plenty to see and hear on the Community Stage. Enjoy Christiansburg High School Chamber Ensemble, Little Leapers, Blue Ridge Dance, NRV Traditional Karate, Appalachian Aftershock, Peterson’s Kempo Karate, Westover Ballet School, Christiansburg Drama Club and Tora Martial Arts.
If you’re hungry have some Chinese food, burgers and dogs, barbecue, cheese steaks, Turkish grill, falafal, pizza, Till and Grill, snow cones, funnel cake, kettle corn and Gardner’s frozen treats.
You can be sure that as soon as we are done serving breakfast and checking out our guests, Bernie and I are heading down the street to the festival. See you there!