Kentland Community Heritage Festival
Venue: Kentland Farm, Blacksburg
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2012
Time: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Event Types: Music, Food, Miscellaneous, Family Friendly, Speaking Engagements
Cost: Free
Description:
The Kentland Community Heritage Festival will be held Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Come celebrate spring and the spirit of community in one of the New River Valley’s most historic and beautiful settings.

Attractions include delicious food with a truly local flair; various artists, artisans, and craftspeople, historical and cultural presentations including blacksmithing, millstone cutting, quilting and other essentials of good living; the New River Coal Miners Heritage Association; Civil War interpretations by the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry; American Indian storytellers and interpreters; tours of Kentland’s historic district, including the Kent family cemetery and slave cemetery; open manor house and archaeological exhibits; vintage farm equipment, machines, and automobiles, and people who know how to use them; hay rides; and exhibits by Virginia Tech student organizations. Plus live string music galore! Bring an instrument and jump in!

Admission is free.

To get to the festival, from Blacksburg and Christiansburg, take exit 118-B from I-81, follow US 460 West to Prices Fork exit. Take Prices Fork Road away from downtown Blacksburg. Take right on McCoy Road, and follow for about 5 miles. Take left on Whitethorne Road and follow signs to Kentland. Turn right into Kentland Farm, and follow signs to festival.

The festival is sponsored by the Kentland Historic Revitalization Committee, Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and the New River Heritage Coalition.

The historic and cultural significance of Kentland Farm makes it stand out among other historic sites in Southwest Virginia. Not only was it the site of the region’s largest antebellum plantation, but it also hosts the state’s westernmost acknowledged slave cemetery. Most of the historic structures were built by slaves (circa 1817-1830) who incorporated West African aesthetic choices into these buildings, while local German artisans contributed passive building techniques that contributed to the soundness of these structures.

Kentland’s proprietor, James Randall Kent, distinguished himself as a farmer, cattleman, entrepreneur and financier. Kent sponsored a number of public works projects in the mid-19th century and was the key financier behind the establishment of the Olin-Preston Institute, the forerunner of Virginia Tech.

For more information, contact Sam Cook at kentlandhistory@gmail.com.
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