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Clinch River Days returns to St. Paul May 30

Staff report • May 18, 2019 at 9:00 AM

ST. PAUL — Clinch River Days enters its third decade Thursday, May 30 with music, art, crafts, environmental awareness, history, games, food, wrestling and more.

However, the festival gives a preview of the fun to come when cellist Dave Eggar performs at the Western Front Hotel on Fourth Avenue on Tuesday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m.

On May 30 at 6 p.m., the celebration starts with three events on Russell Street. Local photographer Patsy Phillips will be recognized at a reception and gallery exhibit of her work at the Railroad Museum. The Heart of SWVA Community Orchestra will perform on the museum lawn starting at 6:30 p.m., and winners of the photography contest and 100 Mile Challenge will be announced and receive their awards.

Juried photography show entries will be on display at the Fraley Building, and the Mountain Heritage Museum and Gallery will also be open from 6 to 9 p.m. for a gallery showing.

Events get underway at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 31 with the Mountain Heritage Museum and Gallery opening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a second gallery show of Phillips’ photographs at the Railroad Museum until 8 p.m. The juried photography exhibit opens at 6 p.m. at the Fraley Building.

The midway opens at A.R. Matthews Memorial Park at 5 p.m. Craft and food vendors will display and sell their wares, attendees can enjoy various amusements, and a wine tent will feature Sugar Hill Brewing Company craft beers and local vineyards’ wines.

Main Event Wrestling begins at 6 p.m. at the Little League field, and the Clinch River Idol Talent Contest starts at 5 p.m. at the park stage. Contest entrants can register at 4:30 p.m., and cash prizes will be awarded.

More musical entertainment takes to the park stage after the talent contest, with the Possum Playboys at 6 p.m., Coal Creek at 7 p.m., and Longshot Dance Party from 9 to 11 p.m.

Saturday, June 1 is Clinch River Day. The Clinch River Farmers Market runs from 8 a.m. to noon at Market Square, and the Heart of Appalachia Visitor Center holds an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The ATV Poker Run starts at 9 a.m. at the Western Front Hotel. Participants can register in advance at the hotel or by calling (276) 971-6464 or emailing yellolab@msn.com. There is a registration fee.

The Kid’s Fishing Tournament is free and runs from 9 a.m. to noon at Oxbow Lake. Registration starts at 9 a.m., and trophies and prizes will be awarded. People looking for some river fun can head to the Red Caboose at A.R. Matthews Memorial Park, where Clinch River Adventures will offer 90-minute kayak trips or two-hour tubing float trips for $10 per person.

Folks can get some hands-on experience of Clinch River wildlife from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. when environmental education group Team Estonoa presents its mussel nursery at Riverbank on the Clinch. The group’s Vencil Learning Center at St. Paul Elementary School will host an open house starting at 1 p.m.

A.R. Matthews Memorial Park will feature more crafts and food, kids’ rides, a petting zoo, and the wine tent. Health and wellness workshops will be offered, and magician Joseph Young will perform throughout the park from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Young will also perform at the park stage at 4:30 p.m.

Plenty of performers will take to the park stage throughout the day, and the entertainment wraps up with the So You Think You Can Dance contest from 9 to 9:15 p.m. and the Wyldeheart Dance Party from 9 to 11 p.m.

Free shuttle services to all festival sites will be available, and a complete listing of events and details can be found online at clinchriverfest.com.

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