For Immediate Release – May 15-18, 2019

Contact: Jill Moorefield, 304-256-1776 or

Beckley’s Rhododendron Festival continues

The City of Beckley’s Events Committee and local groups have been organizing a variety of events for the Rhododendron Festival.  The committee wishes to thank everyone who attended activities during the past weekend, and they invite the community to attend events scheduled for the next two weeks.

The Beckley Beautification Commission and Public Works will plant a rhododendron by the McManus Trail near Prince Street on May 16.  They have planted rhododendrons along the bank the past three years.

Fridays in the Park begin on May 17 and run thru August 30 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm, weather permitting, at Word Park on Neville Street.  The Fridays during the month of May are included in the festival. The concert series schedule features a variety of musicians, opening with Shayar on May 17, then Greater Beckley Christian School (11:30 am) and David Cook (noon) on May 24, and Patricia Smith and Rick Lilly on May 31.

The City’s annual Founders Day is planned for May 18 from 11 am to 3 pm at Wildwood House Museum, located off of Kanawha Street. An opening ceremony and free tours will be available.

Also on May 18, Active SWV will lead a full moon group bike ride and walk along the McManus Trail. Interested participants can meet at the 3rd Ave parking lot/mural wall at 8 pm.

The Raleigh County Library is having a rhododendron coloring contest through May 23 and Active Southern WV is encouraging the community to take photos of rhododendrons along the trails and enter the photo contest on Facebook using the hashtags #WVRhodofest19 by May 26.

The rhododendron blooms at Grandview are beautiful during the month, so festival visitors are encouraged to visit the park. On Sunday, May 19, a park ranger will lead a one-mile walk to see blooms, learn about plant life at the park, and take in views at Main and North overlooks – tour begins at 3 pm at Grandview Visitor Center.

110 Marshall will host a rhododendron painting class on May 24 at 6 pm (cost: $35 for a 16 x 20).  The design includes rhododendrons with mountains in the background. Art lovers can also check out the new member’s exhibit at the Beckley Art Center’s Dan and Cynthia Bickey Gallery on Johnstown Road – open Thursday – Saturdays.

Memorial weekend marks the start of summer activities with park openings.  The RhodoBoogie Car & Bike Show will take place on May 25 from 5-8 pm at the Beckley Intermodal Gateway. Attendees can enjoy music by Buddy Allen and Cheat River Band during the free concert and dancing on the plaza. Vehicle registration will be from 5-6 pm; vehicle cost to enter (to be eligible for awards and prizes) is $10. Vendors (food, arts & crafts, pop-up shops) interested in setting up a booth during the show can call 304-256-1776 to request a spot.  

The festival also promotes events happening on May 30 and 31 such as the WV Miners game, Southern WV Business and Adventure Expo at Crossroads Mall, Beach Blast at Lake Stephens, and Tamarack Dinner Theatre.

By packaging these events under the festival umbrella, the committee hopes to attract more visitors to the events and promote the community’s music, art, recreation and scenery. The festival brochure is available on the City’s website and on Beckley Events’ Facebook page.  ###