Culturefest World Music & Arts Festival is a weekend long immersion in the creative arts featuring 4 stages of music and dance performances, workshops, children’s activities, artisan vendors, healing arts, camping and more on a beautiful mountaintop in Pipestem, West Virginia. A cornerstone of the blossoming creative scene in Southern WV, it is a convergence of creative minds and offers artists and festival goers from all around WV the opportunity to mix and mingle with those coming from as far away as NYC and the west coast, as well as international touring artists. Music performances span genres from Americana and Appalachian Folk to Soul-Rock, Funk, Jazz and World Fusion to experimental genres like Experiential Spiritual Folk and New Mexican Space Music. Workshops explore yoga, drumming, belly dance, electronic music, up-cycled art and more, and facilitated discussions called “Conversations at Culturefest” delve into topics such as ayurveda, solar power and medicinal plants. Life-like dinosaur puppets roam the site all weekend and telescopes are available for star and planet gazing. Roaming performers tell stories through dance and fire spinners light up the night. Artisans vend wares from handmade clothing to jewelry to fine art and more. The children’s village features special yoga classes, found object art, craft projects, a kids’ costume parade led by a fairy on stilts and other colorful characters. Inflatable furniture lounges make relaxing spots to kick back and unwind, and provide shelter so the fun can continue in case of rain. Guests may camp on site for the weekend, and immerse themselves in the colorful experience in the beautiful WV mountains or enjoy the amenities of nearby Pipestem State Park. The goal of the festival is to promote unity and respect for diversity, and bring people together though music and the arts. It has become a convergence of creative minds and a holiday for the arts community of Southern West Virginia.
All Together Arts Week is celebration of the vibrant arts scene in Mercer County, WV. The goal of the event is to highlight and showcase the array of venues, events and activity that happens regularly in the area. The week begins with a circle talk for networking, which invites artists and arts organizations to discover one another and form partnerships, and concludes with a Grand Finale Parade and Day of Merriment in downtown Princeton. The rest of the week highlights events that take place at venues all around the county, and encourages people to visit new locations and discover what their community has to offer. Gallery hops on a special trolley take guests on a tour of the creative venues around the area and encourage friendship building, creative mingling and collaboration. The goal of the event is to stoke cross pollination and stir the pot of the creative scene as well as to raise awareness and appreciation for the arts activity in our area. The Grand Finale Parade, now in its 8th year, is the most colorful and whimsical day of the year on Mercer Street. The day begins at with sidewalk chalk, face painting, costuming and joyous festivity. Anyone is welcome to march in the parade and it makes for a very memorable occasion, marching in full costumed regalia down the middle of the street accompanied by a giant paper mache elephant and a host of other wild imaginings. Costumes, wings, puppets, glitter, and non-motorized floats are welcome and highly encouraged.
The Downtown Countdown is an epic New Year’s Eve celebration on Mercer Street in downtown Princeton featuring 5 stages of music, street performers, games and merriment, plus a ball drop countdown and fireworks at midnight. Now in its 4th year, the event reflects on the progress that has been made in downtown Princeton, and rings in the hope of another amazing year of progress. Fire dancers light up the night and guests explore indoor venues- The Turnaround, The Hot Chocolate Spot, The Room Upstairs, Gary Bowling's House of Art and The Renaissance Theater, enjoying sounds ranging from jazz to rock to classical. A beautifully crafted ball by local artists is hoisted nearly 100 feet in the air, hovering above the colorful festivities, and the evening leads to an exciting peak when the clock strikes twelve. A tremendous fireworks display follows and ends the night on a very high point.
Celebrate Princeton is a street fair on Mercer Street- a family friendly celebration featuring carnival rides, nearly 100 vendors, live music performances, art shows, demonstrations, games and more. Comedy performances such as Mutts Gone Nuts- a canine cabaret and El-Glenno Grande wow the crowd, and local performance groups such as Princeton Dance Studio and the Silverettes twirling group entertain. Locals have the chance to be interviewed for a video archive project called "Memories on Mercer Street" celebrating the nostalgia for times past when downtown Princeton was in its busting heyday. Demos by marital artists and yoga teachers inform and inspire. Smells of funnel cakes and kettle corn waft through the air and community spirit abounds.
Earth Day: Music, Arts and Activism is a cooperative effort with Appalachian South Folklife Center in Pipestem, WV. Featuring panel discussions, educational activities, demonstrations, and live music in a beautiful mountain setting, the event is an enriching experience and a relaxing day of fun and fellowship in the tranquil mountain setting of the ASFC. Activities in years past have included a butterfly pavilion, giant telescopes and astronomy demos, puppet and dance performances, recycled art fashion shows and more.
The Room Upstairs, part of The RiffRaff Arts Collective, is the diamond gem of our creative complex in downtown Princeton. A turn of the century ballroom turned small theatre, this beautifully remodeled space is now a magnificent venue for live performance. With deep purple walls, French pressed tin ceilings and hardwood floors, the beauty of this structure truly shines. Comfortable couches make for a living room feel, and the 14 x 40 ft. stage complete with top notch sound and lighting is a treat for artists to perform on and a feast for the audience's senses. Every Monday Night from 7-11pm is Open Stage night in the Room Upstairs. Poets, musicians, dancers and thespians perform while others doodle with art supplies or just relax and enjoy the music. *IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Open Stage is Currently on Hiatus for the Winter. It will resume in March.*