Rural West Virginia, including Preston County, struggled to bounce back from the great depression. Economic growth was slow, and farmers relied on buckwheat as their insurance crop. Even though it was primarily for animal feed, it was high-quality and had a short growing season.
Farmers in the area believed that buckwheat could eventually generate economic growth, but it was hard work. At the end of the harvesting season, farmers in the late 1930s needed a bit of encouragement. Thus, the Preston County Buckwheat Festival was born.
Back then, it was held in October over three days and included horse trading, farmer auctions, and fun entertainment such as tug-of-war and sack races. As time went by, the festival began to incorporate other crops, kings and queens, and delicious buckwheat-themed goods.
The Preston County Buckwheat Festival of today pays tributes to those roots but has now grown far beyond that small get-together of farmers. It happens over four days in late September and spans an entire block, encompassing Kingwood City Park. It has also grown to include parades, stalls, and entertainment.
If you want to be a part of history, while celebrating one of the nation’s finest crops, then make sure you’re present in Kingwood, West Virginia in the fall. Gather your friends and family and let the celebrations begin.
The Preston County Buckwheat Festival is a community event that welcomes everyone with open arms. You don’t need to buy tickets and, instead, can turn up and enjoy all the action. You may have to pay extra for entertainment and activities, as well as vendor offerings, but entry has traditionally been free for all. You can visit the organizer’s website for full schedules and further information.
Kingwood, West Virginia is centrally located between many minor highways that lead to nearby towns. While it’s not close to any main cities, the driving route is scenic and smooth to the Preston County Buckwheat Festival.
You will enjoy the pleasant surroundings but may need to pack plenty of supplies for on the road. You will know you’re coming close when you start to drive alongside the Cheat River that runs by the edge of the city, home to nearly 3,000 people. The event is in the center of town, and you won’t miss it in this small community.
The location of the event, which takes place on city streets rather than a formalized venue, means that parking spaces will be limited. You may like to arrive bright and early to secure an on-street parking space large enough to accommodate your RV’s length. Alternatively, you can make use of the inner city paid parking facilities, which may have size restrictions or paid parking in Kingswood City Park.
Kingswood boasts a public bus network that has various pickup and drop-off points throughout the city. Depending on where you park your RV, you may be able to jump aboard to get close to the action. However, given the small size of the city and central location of the event, you may enjoy a wander in the fresh fall air without the need for a vehicle.
While you may be able to park your RV in the town’s center for the event during the day, you will not be able to camp there overnight. There are also no festival facilities for camping. Fortunately, Kingswood and surrounding West Virginia townships deliver. If you intend on staying for the full four-day event, there are campgrounds and resorts ready to take your booking.
Coopers Rock State Forest and several campgrounds are well-appointed on the outskirts of Kingswood. Some are as near as a five-minute drive, but the majority are anywhere up to one hour away from the action. The whole idea of RV camping is to be able to drive your accommodation, so use the distance as an opportunity to make the most of your adventure. You can also book your campground spot weeks in advance to ensure you get your first pick.
The best way to navigate the Preston County Buckwheat Festival is on foot, for thousands of people are in attendance every year, which make wheeled transport a little tricky. Once you park your RV, you can wander down Brown Avenue onto Price Street, then across Kingswood City Park onto Tunnelton Street. The parade route cuts through this area, with a plethora of activities in the center of the block.
Kingwood, WV, may put on the sunshine for the Preston County Buckwheat Festival, but not enough to make you want to strip off the layers. If you want to remain comfortable during your stay, dress warmly with layers you can add to or remove as you need. Comfortable footwear is also necessary.
There is a lot of ground to cover over the four days of the festival, so you are going to want to come well-prepared. Bring all your camping and cooking equipment so that it’s ready for use in your RV. You can then pack a small backpack that contains water, cash and credit, and a schedule and map so that you don’t miss a thing. You may also find an ATM on Brown Avenue and in the Pavilion of Kingwood City Park to withdraw cash.
Near the center of Kingwood City Park, near Tunnelton Street, there are usually public toilets to cater to the masses. These are close to all events and activities for your convenience. If you need to take a break, there are also seating areas throughout the park. Don’t forget to pack a water bottle and all medical supplies you may need for your trip away from home.
Before you haul out the grill to cook up a storm, find out what the rules are for your campground of choice. Each host has different rules, but most allow the use of your onboard RV appliances. There will be no opportunity for cooking at the event itself. If you run out of ingredients, you’re in the right place; there is a supplies store within a one-mile drive of the center of the festival.
Even though vendors go all out to provide you with a full range of food, sometimes your taste buds may crave something else. Even in a small city of around 3,000 people, you’re not short of options. Kingwood hospitality workers are masters of comfort food, and also boast plenty of fast food options as well. Take a wander down the city streets and see what you can find.
From hotdog stands to buckwheat dinners, and more; you’re going to like what you see in Midway of Kingwood City Park. You can purchase food tickets for a cashless purchase, or use cash. Some vendors accept credit. Save yourself some hassles by having all three payment options to avoid missing out on your first choice.
The police station forms part of the outer parade route for the festival, offering visitors peace of mind that someone is looking out for them. If you have any questions or concerns, take the short trip down to the station on S. Price St. They will be more than willing to help with anything of concern.
Throughout most of September, watery sunshine tries to filter through and blow the fall moisture away. Temperatures tend to remain between 50 and 70 degrees-Fahrenheit, which are not quite summer conditions. You want to pack a few woolly layers, including a few snuggly blankets to tuck around you in your RV.
The nearest hospital is a short three-minute drive away from the festival center, with a pharmacy under a mile and a half away as well. The local pharmacy stocks an extensive range of medical supplies to help you out, but medical staff at the hospital can help with anything more serious. In an emergency, dial 9-11.