Writers Will Gather At Little Levels Heritage Fair

Hillsboro, WV – Each year on the last weekend of June, the community of Hillsboro and the surrounding Little Levels celebrate local history with the Little Levels Heritage Fair. This year, the fair takes place June 25-27. A centerpiece of the fair is the Annual Pearl S. Buck International Writers’ Workshop on the grounds of the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace.

The workshop allows student writers to gain mentorship from English professors and professional writers during the weekend of the fair. This year’s guests at the workshop include Dr. Peter Conn, the Vartan Gregorian Chair in English at the University of Pennslvania and the author of Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography. Dr. Conn will be joined by Dr. Laura Bently, Writer-in-Residence at Marshall University, and Marshall University English professor Dr. Chris Green.

On Friday, the workshop begins with breakfast at Cliffside, the restored home of the doctor who attended the Pearl Buck’s birth. Workshop participants then spend an hour to two hours with each of the Workshop’s guest instructors.

On Saturday, participants can enjoy the Little Levels Heritage Fair itself. Peal S. Buck Birthplace Director Timothy VanReenen talks about the Writers Workshop events that will then take place later that afternoon.

“On Saturday, please join us for the Pearl [S.] Buck birthplace birthday celebration. Pearl was born June 26th of 1892, so we’re very happy to have the celebration on her birthdate” says VanReenan. “And it’s going to get kicked off about 4pm with music by Paolo and Erica [Marks]. There’ll be a short welcome/introduction of the speakers we had at our writers workshop, a keynote address by Dr. Conn, and then there will be birthday cake, punch and cookies for all.”

Dr. Conn, in addition to being a biographer of Buck, has a personal connection to the author’s legacy, says VanReenen.

“In addition to writing Pearl Bucks biography, Dr. Conn has also adopted a couple of children through her adoption agency she founded in Pennsylvania.”

Of course, the events at the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace are just one part of the activities during the Little Levels Heritage Fair. Events kick off on Friday, June 25 with an old-fashioned barbeque pig roast at the Hillsboro School cafeteria and outdoor music by the Backroad Band, featuring Trista Rexrode and Matthew Nelson. The theme of this year’s fair is “Hard Times and Good Ol’ Days,” with a special focus on the 1920s through the 1940s.

Saturday in Hillsboro is a full day of fair events, from tours of the McNeel Mill at Mill Point to arts crafts, food and quilts on the grounds of the Hillsboro Elementary school. There will also be a parade, live music, a mini log race and the dedication of new welcome signs in front of the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace.

The Little Levels Heritage Fair concludes Sunday with evening vespers at the McNeel Cemetery at 8:15 p.m. For more information about the Little Levels Heritage Fair, visit littlelevelsheritagefair.com or call 304-653-8563.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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