By Stephen Smoot
The week after the area celebrated Trout Fest, volunteers from the Treasure Mountain Festival committee held their regular meeting. Committee members work on two tracks, both planning for this year’s festival while also strengthening the organization to set a foundation for long-term success.
First, the committee mentioned the change in the parade route. This year, the lineup will take place near the Christian Assistance Network building near Pendleton County Middle/High School.
Needs for this festival include a new tabloid map to recognize the parade route and other changes. The committee engaged Bruce Holderman from 601 Design in Franklin, to create the map. The committee hopes to receive a first design by June, with the deadline for receiving new information set on July 1.
Annie Humes, from the Pendleton County Farmers Market, added that the committee commissioned a countywide map and shared that Holderman “felt very comfortable with doing both. He’s going to start from scratch.”
Members agreed that Holderman needed to make sure to include Fort Seybert on the map.
The committee reported that Elizabeth Scott, who also serves on the committee but could not attend, reported that she had recruited 12 food vendors with two more possibly joining. Committee members also stated that they had signed up 23 arts and crafts vendors, hitting 80 percent of capacity almost five months out.
Lindsay Kazarick, tourism chair and a Future Generations University representative, advised the committee that one of the issues facing the committee lay in “a need for someone to fill gaps.” By this, she meant an administrative assistant to perform administrative tasks as needed. Kazarick suggested that the TMF committee could look into receiving an AmeriCorps volunteer, adding “you don’t have to pay for this person to help the Treasure Mountain Festival.”
Kazarick explained that AmeriCorps volunteers are young people who sign up to better communities across the nation. One organization that also uses these volunteers is the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area based in Elkins.
Committee members also stressed that elements of the decades long history of the festival had escaped the group in the past. Artifacts, stories, even established processes and procedures, have been lost over the years. The committee wanted to reach out to the community to get as much historical information as possible about the festival over the years, as well as any important items that people may wish to donate.
Although the festival has traditionally centered on Franklin and the Fort Seybert reenactment, the committee has looked to get the rest of the county involved. Jennifer Taylor-Ide had previously discussed with the Pendleton County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau the desirability of expanding the focus to other areas of the county.
Taylor-Ide went on to mention that some attendees may enjoy taking the driving tours already created for Civil War and other parts of county history, but that younger drivers may prefer a more modern format, such as a podcast style production.
In previous meetings, the committee worked on developing a slate of activities, including a TMF Tea Room, contests, music, children’s activities and more, though this aspect of the festival remains in development.