West Virginia State Parks Presents Special Summer Programs in 2008

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Add some free entertainment to your West Virginia State Parks visits this summer. Special programs are scheduled at various park and forest locations in addition to weekly activities organized and conducted by naturalists and programmers at 17 areas.

            Performers for this summer include the magic of Garry Boothe, Mountain Echoes, variety entertainer Tom King; champion liar Bil Lepp; Lou Maiuri’s traditional Appalachian dance; music by Jim ‘n’ I; music and storytelling by Mick Souter; Doug Wood and Trails, Inc. presenting the 250th Commemoration of the French and Indian War; Geology! Rocks with the West Virginia Geological Survey; Bugs Stover with Campfire Chiller and Thrillers, Irish Road Bowling, and the Three Rivers Avian Center’s West Virginia Birds of Prey program. 

            The following is a schedule for the 2008 special programs. Visit www.wvstateparks.com  and click the special program icon for updates and additions to the schedule. Program times vary and if you plan to attend, call the specific park for exact program times and locations.  Admission to these programs and activities is free and open to guests of parks and the general public.

Special Summer Programs  List and Information

Three Rivers Avian Center – Birds of Prey

June 13 – Greenbrier State Forest
June 20 – Hawks Nest
June 21 – Watoga
June 28 – Beech Fork
July 10 – Pipestem
July 15 – Blackwater Falls
July 16 – Holly River
July 25 – Twin Falls
August 8 – North Bend
August 9 – Cedar Creek
August 15 – Cacapon
August 16 – Lost River

            What bird says “who cooks for me, who cooks for you all?” Don’t know! Come to this Birds of Prey Education Program featuring live birds of prey native to West Virginia. Live raptors, including hawks and owls, are part of this educational program. You’ll learn about the habitat, diet and behavior of each bird presented, the most common causes of injury to each species and the laws protecting these special birds.

250th Commemoration of the French & Indian War

June 29 – Blennerhassett Island
August 30 – Tomlinson Run

            Doug Wood – French & Indian War Series – is a historical interpreter who presents the story of Ostenaco in traditional dress. During the French and Indian War, Ostenaco was a leader of Cherokee warriors who assisted Virginia military leaders against northern tribes allied to the French. His leadership provided a much-needed Indian alliance for the British colonial settlements in much of present day West Virginia and beyond.

            Ostencao led the fight against Ohio Valley Indians who were allied with the French and attacking settlements in the areas of the Tygart Valley, Greenbrier River, and North and South Branches of the Potomac River. With Major Andrew Lewis he led an expedition against the Shawnee along the Big Sandy River area that ended in failure but forged a lasting friendship with Lewis. His allegiance with such Virginia leaders contributed significantly to the expansion of English-speaking peoples into what is now West Virginia.

Appalachian Dance with the 2008 Vandalia Gathering Award Winner Lou Maiuri

July 4 – Holly River
July 5 – Beech Fork
July 11 – North Bend
July 12 – Watoga
July 18 – Pipestem
July 24 – Blackwater Falls
July 25 – Lost River
July 26 – Cacapon
September 27 – Cass RR
October 11 – Twin Falls

            Square or line – you’re invited. Lou Maiuri was teaching dance long before Dancing with the Stars debuted or Travolta and Swayze made dance popular again. Maiuri is a dance instructor of traditional Appalachian dance and modern line dancing. He has won many awards in competition, including three national championships and is the director and founder of Appalachian Country Cloggers. Bringing traditional dance and instruction to our state parks is a labor of love for Maiuri – his love of people and his love for dance is obvious when you attend one of Lou’s dance events. Maiuri was the receipent of the 2008 Vandalia Award, a folklife honor. No previous dance experience (or rhythm) necessary. Come join us for tradition – let’s dance!

Celebrate WV w/ Mick Souter – Song and Stories about the Mountain State

June 14 – Blennerhassett Island
June 20 – North Bend
June 28 – Watoga
July 12 – Audra

            A one man show featuring “Celebrate America,” Mick Souter presents a multi-disciplinary cultural performance combining music, theater, and storytelling with history, geography, and social studies. The artist accompanies himself on many instruments including banjo, dulcimer, auto harp, and recorder.

Campfire Chillers & Thrillers – Tales by Bugs Stover

June 14 – Audra
August 2 – Audra
August 9 – Beech Fork
August 16 – Audra
September 13 – Beech Fork
October 10 – Twin Falls
October 11 – Beech Fork

            A traditional campfire story-teller and a Wyoming County native, Bugs Stover’s presentation is down-home, come-on-over, and sit-a-spell. “I’m going to tell you a story about when I was but a child camping at…and there was a strange noise…” Stover’s stories weave state park tales of mystery and make an ordinary evening something to remember.

The Magic and Balloon Artistry of Garry Boothe – A Family Favorite

June 14 – Cedar Creek
June 28 – Twin Falls
July 5 – Babcock
July 12 – Beech Fork
July 26 – Audra
August 1 – Greenbrier State Forest
August 2 – Cass Scenic Railroad
August 19 – Blackwater Falls
September 13 – Tygart Lake
October 11 – Beech Fork (A Heron Festival event)

            Garry Boothe is a magician and children’s entertainer, and he performs magic and balloon artistry with a twist. Great family entertainment.

Bil Lepp – Champion Liar / Storyteller w/ the occasional truth

June 20 – Pipestem 2008
July 3 – Blackwater Falls
July 5 – Watoga
July 11 – Holly River
July 12 – North Bend
July 26 – Greenbrier State Forest
August 1 – Tygart Lake
August 2  – Beech Fork
August 5 – Lost River
August 6 – Cacapon

            A winner of the West Virginia Liars Contest, Bil Lepp tells tall tales written by himself and his brother. His outrageous stories about Buck-dog, fishing, politics, trains, the rodeo and many others will have the audience roaring with laughter.

Geology! Rocks

June 20-21 – Greenbrier State Forest 
July 15-16 – Lost River
July 16-17 – Cacapon
July 18-19 – Beech Fork
July 25-26 – Watoga State
July 29-30 – Blackwater Falls
August 7-8 – Pipestem State

            Don’t know limestone from sandstone or granite from gravel? An evening program to teach, explain and explore the mysteries of “rock.” The next morning we “roll” out for a hike to learn about geology, topography and more. The West Virginia Geological Survey folks are the experts presenting this program series. You can attend evening or morning activities or both. Great for scout and 4-H groups, families and future geologists.

Other Special Summer Programs

Mountain Echoes – June 14 – Tygart Lake
Jim ‘n I – June 21 – Twin Falls
Tom King – June 20 – Tygart Lake

Irish Road Bowling

June 21 – Blackwater Falls
July 26 – Cacapon
August 30 – Cass Scenic Railroad
October 11 – Holly River
November 2 – Stonewall Resort

            This series is more about the activity than a special program guest. Before football, soccer, and basketball, before baseball and golf, there was … The Old Game, Irish Road Bowling. So when you hear “bowl,” obey the rules of the road and know the game is under way.