Mark the calendars. The 16th Annual West Virginia Trout Fest is scheduled for May, 6, 7, and 8 this year. After two years of hiatus due to COVID, this popular annual event is back.
Hosted by the Pendleton County Chamber of Commerce and Convention Visitors Bureau, the festival. will kick off at 6 p.m. on April 23, with contestants competing for the title of Miss WV Trout Fest.
This year’s competition will welcome girls ages 9-21 years old, residing all across West Virginia.
The remainder of the festival will take place two weeks later on May 6, 7 and 8, when the chamber welcomes back radio host Chris Lawrence to the hills of Pendleton County.
Friday evening’s activities will consist of the annual fish fry, minnow children’s pageants, and kick-off for the craft show and food vendor openings.
Saturday morning is when the majority of the excitement happens. The trout rodeo will begin at 8 a.m., followed by a day full of local vendors, musical performances, a performance by Raymond’s Gymnastics Studio, the 5K race, sponsored by the Economic Development Authority, an expanded kids’ conservation area, a newly-added pet show, a talent show, and more!
Spend your Mother’s Day closing out Trout Fest with some delicious food, church in the park and local gospel music.
“We still have vendor spaces available for anyone wishing to participate,” says Ciara Lambert, Chamber & CVB Bureau director. “And we are also actively looking for any non-profit who wishes to collaborate with the festival board and do a fundraiser during this event,” she said, adding, “We recognize how tough the past two years have been for all non-profits.”
“Not only do we want to build the festival yearly, we also want to utilize all area resources and ‘Be Local’ for all of the festival needs,” Lambert promised.
“We also encourage any local citizens who wish to volunteer and participate to contact us, as well,” Lambert said.
“We have several ways in which you can be an active and play a positive role for the betterment of our community during the festival,” she explained, adding, “My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, for anyone who wishes to be involved.
“Trout Fest plans are still evolving, so be sure to check out social media often for all updates regarding the weekend’s events. You will soon start seeing all things ‘fishy’ pop up around town (Franklin), with our window decorating contest once again taking place April 6. That is always one of my personal favorite events. I love seeing the creativity flow!” said Lambert with an enthusiastic grin.