RIPLEY, W.Va. — Thousands will be making their return to Ripley on the Fourth of July to get a taste of true Appalachian tradition during the 62nd annual Mountain State Art and Craft Fair.

MSACF will return to the Cedar Lakes Conference Center on Thursday, July 4 through Sunday, July 7, the same location the four-day event has been being held since its inception in the 1960s.

The event features food and artisan vendors encompassing everything that makes up traditional Appalachian culture and heritage. Artists and craftsmen and women make their way from across the state to showcase their talents in wood-turning, glass blowing, pottery making among other traditional craft.

MSACF Board Member Sara McDowell told MetroNews that the event also features heritage and education demonstrations, hands-on activities for kids, as well as many other new and old festival favorites.

“We’ve got the Kids’ Fishing Derby, the pie contest, we’ve got the quilt show, fan favorites and some new favorites will all be here at the fair this year,” said McDowell.

As a juried event, Appalachian artists vying to be a part of the six-decade-long MSACF must apply to showcase their work and go through a competitive selection process. McDowell said this process helps to ensure only the best and most traditional craftsmanship is being featured at the event.

“Not everyone makes it, but the folks who do make it are experts in their craft, unique in their abilities,” she said.

MSACF also offers scholarships to qualified applicants wanting to advance their knowledge in the visual arts or traditional or heritage music and dance.

McDowell said the event serves as not only a big economic generator for the community but the hundreds of artisans who are preserving the best of the traditional Appalachian art and culture.

“The best, the brightest, hardworking, creative, tenacious, everything the best that we have to offer in Appalachia is what we showcase here through the art,” she said.

Known as the “granddaddy” of West Virginia heritage events, McDowell said MSACF has also been well-received by the number of event-goers who come in every year wanting to get a taste of the arts and culture the festival offers.

She said it’s an event every West Virginian should make their way out to see and experience.

“There is something truly unique to see the creative aspects of Appalachians and to see what people can create by hand that is uniquely special to this area,” said McDowell.

The Mountain State Arts and Craft Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily July 4-7.

Gate admission is $7 for the general public. For seniors 55 and older and children ages 3 to 11 the cost is $5. Admission is free for children under 3.

You can visit to learn more about the four-day event.

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