17th Annual Little Levels Heritage Fair June 27th – 29th
The 17th annual Little Levels Heritage Fair and Pearl S. Buck birthday celebration will be June 27th through the 29th. The fair was inspired by the short-lived but successful Pocahontas county horse show that was also held in Hillsboro. According to event president Ruth Taylor, the fair helps preserve the heritage and traditions of the area.
“We’re trying to show the heritage of the horseman that happened 100 years ago and they had some very high quality horses in this area,” said Taylor. “Ken Burn’s grandfather was one of the one’s that showed horses; the McLaughlin brothers, and this was a very big purebred horse area prior to the state fair of West Virginia in Greenbrier county. We’re trying to kind of show the history of that era. And the Hillsboro fair happened before the state fair of West Virginia and before the Pocahontas fair at Marlinton. It was very well attended [with] a couple thousand people attending the fair out on Beard road.”
Held during the last full week of June, the fair always falls within four days of Pearl S. Buck’s birthday. Events begin Friday, June 27th noon to 7pm, with arts and crafts sales, tours of Pearl S. Buck’s homeplace and an antique quilt display, music performances and an old fashioned bar-be-que pig roast.
“The vendors are all local schools, clubs, churches; it’s a fundraiser for all their events. They all have to be local or have local roots, so we focused on the Little Levels area, people coming here to see what we have and what our heritage is.”
The fair will be in full swing on Saturday, June 28th from 10am to 5pm. Sales of arts and crafts as well as tours of Pearl S. Buck’s homeplace and the antique quilt display will continue. Other highlights include tours of the McNeel mill, a walking tour of Hillsboro, the Pearl S. Buck birthday celebration, and a new event, the equine show of breeds.
“It may not be clear to a lot of people because it’s something that we haven’t done – it’s any kind of an equine horse, mule, donkey, whatever,” said Taylor, “and we’re going to have people’s choice voting. The one who has the most votes will be the parade marshall, they’ll lead the parade. Joel Callison chairs the heritage parade and you’re supposed to have something that represents the heritage 50 years ago; it’s not a convertible and commercial parade. One of the reasons we stick to that as well as trying to promote the heritage is that there is absolutely no other road around Hillsboro.”
“And we’re going to have a living history village there behind the Stulting House at Pearl Buck in the apple orchard, and I think there’s a Civil War display and wood turners and a blacksmith and things of that nature in that area; and then the arts and crafts will be on the front lawn of the Stulting House.”
The evening will close with a covered dish potluck and hymn sing at Oak Grove Presbyterian church. Sunday, June 29th beginning at 1pm, tours of Pearl S. Buck’s birthplace and the antique quilt display will continue. An ice cream social, music and vespers at McNeel cemetery will close the fair.
“This year we’re honoring Moffet McNeel who was very instrumental in the historical society and historic landmarks and all the different things that have helped to keep the heritage alive here,” said Taylor.
All events including music performances are free and open to the public, but an admission of five dollars will be required for a tour of Pearl S. Buck’s homeplace and the antique quilt display. Parking will be available at Pearl S. Buck’s birthplace or along US Route 219. For a full schedule of events, visit www.littlelevelsheritagefair.com. To get involved with the Little Levels Heritage Fair or with questions, call 304-653-8563.