Bands Galore at Black Walnut Festival

Tony's torrid tour of fall festivals had a special stop in Roane County WV this past weekend. Here's a look at how WV high school bands wowed the thousands who jammed Spencer on Saturday.

       Band-acious in Spencer
My autumn tour of fall festivals took me to Spencer this past weekend for the 58th annual Black Walnut Festival. This is always one of my favorite stops in part because the leaves are at their peak in mid October for the winding drive up Route 119. Throw in the storied history of black walnuts to the economy of Central WV and you have the makings of a special weekend.
As Grand Marshal, Gus Douglass (retiring WV Agriculture Commissioner) told me, "back in the olden days even before the festival began, the harvesting of black walnuts gave people the chance to sell their nuts so they could buy shoes and clothes for the kids to go to school". You see here in Central WV, some of the best hills in America for growing black walnuts exist.
Now some 60+ years later, this unique festival provides an economic boom to one of the quaintest towns in the heart of the Mountain State. Tens of thousands converge here every year including a gaggle of the best high school bands in West By God Virginia.
So after making the mile long trip through the jammed parade route, I used my trusty flip cam to photograph as many bands as I could before returning to Huntington in time for the 6 o'clock news.
In case you missed my "band-a-cious" story with Brooks on Sunday night here's a snapshot of the musical raz-ma-tazz on Main street and Black Walnut avenue.
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