DAVIS – Mother Nature put on her fall best this weekend as she welcomed visitors to the 26 th Leaf Peeper’s Festival. Trees in the area appeared to stand taller as they donned their brightest reds, greens, oranges and yellows.
Tucker County CVB Executive Director Bill Smith said the drive into Davis was spectacular.
“The leaves are wonderful,” Smith said. “If you haven’t driven from Davis to Canaan Valley, take the time to do so. The colors on the trees are magnificent.”
On Thursday, the West Virginia Division of Forestry announced fall is officially here and so is West Virginia’s fall foliage season. State foresters report leaves are changing quickly in perennial foliage hotspots like Dolly Sods and Canaan Valley.
According to the WVDOF website, John Anderson, a fire forester with the West Virginia Division of Forestry, traded his fire rake for a camera earlier this week and headed to the high country to take pictures.
“The majority of the foliage in the Dolly Sods area is nearing peak,” Anderson stated. “The reds, oranges and yellows provide a colorful accent to the already spectacular scenery.”
On Friday, students from Tucker County students learned about West Virginia birds, coal mining and heritage arts. Jo Santiago, of Flying Higher, shared her birds of prey with students. Her show helps instill awareness as well as and understanding and appreciation of the relationship between birds and humans.
Fred Powers took students on a history tour of the Appalachian coal miner, while Chip Turner of Appalachian Glass in Weston offered live glass blowing demonstrations. John Kessenger demonstrated the art of barrel and bucket making, while the Canaan Weavers showed weaving, spinning, basket weaving and knitting.
On Saturday, folks could travel to nearby Dolly Sods to celebrate Fields of Fire where blueberry bushes have turned fire red. The tour included a stop at a nearby bird banding station and a hike to Bear Rocks Preserve.
The Davis Fire Hall was packed with crafters offering items including plates, jewelry, pottery, wooden crafts and knitted and crocheted items. Food vendors dotted the streets, and a pancake breakfast at the I.O.O.F. Building made sure no one went hungry. Many beautiful items were on the silent auction block for the Tucker County Chamber of Commerce’s silent auction.
Bike enthusiasts gathered on Saturday for the Blackwater Canyon Bike Ride. The guided ride lead bikers from Thomas to Parsons, and was hosted by the Highlands Trail Foundation. Live entertainment and talent shows keep the center stage in Davis hopping with musical fun.
Finally, on Sunday, more than 700 ducks took to Beaver Creek to raise money for next year’s Leaf Peeper’s Festival. Prizes were awarded to the duck in first, second, third and last duck to cross the finish line.