Eric Douglas Published

Vandalia Returns To Capitol Grounds For Memorial Day

Group Of Violinists And Cellist On Terrace

The 45th Vandalia Gathering returns to the state capitol grounds this weekend after being canceled in 2020 and scaled back in 2021. Saturday and Sunday will see the return of arts, live music, dance and storytelling.

The gathering kicks off Friday evening with an awards ceremony in the Culture Center’s state theater at 6:30 p.m. Quilt and wall hanging awards will be presented as well as the 2022 Vandalia Award. A concert following the award ceremonies will feature Tessa Dillon, Jesse Milnes and Emily Miller, Jenny Allinder, Pete Kosky, and the Jimmy Gabehart Band.

The ceremony will be broadcast on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s West Virginia Channel and our website.

Outside activities start Saturday at 10:30 a.m. with old-time fiddle, bluegrass banjo, and mandolin contests along with half-hour concerts throughout the day.

Events include old-time fiddle, bluegrass banjo, and mandolin contests, with half-hour concerts by Hunter Walker, Chance McCoy, Terry Vaughan, Southridge, Brayden Williamson, and Robert Shafer & Johnny Staats.

A Saturday evening concert starts at 7 p.m. in the State Theater and will feature performances by the Mack Samples Band, Lady D, Dwight Diller, Kanawha Tradition, Gerry Milnes, and Chance McCoy.

Sunday’s events begin at 11 a.m. with a one-hour gospel set by Angie Richardson, followed by old-time banjo, lap dulcimer, and flat-pick guitar contests. There will be half-hour concerts by Buck McCumbers & Company, Andy Fitzgibbon, the Lilly Mountaineers, Roger Bryant, Robin and Dan Kessinger, and Sawyer Chapman.

The fiddle and guitar competitions have a youth category for musicians 15 years of age or younger. Traditional dance offerings range from demonstrations of ethnic and square dancing in the Great Hall of the Culture Center to an outdoor flat-foot dancing stage where spectators are encouraged to jump in and kick up their heels.

The popular Liars Contest returns on Sunday in the State Theater at 2:30 p.m. (with registration beginning at 1:30 p.m.), as storytellers compete for Goldenseal magazine’s coveted Golden Shovel award.

Visitors also can see the annual Quilts and Wall Hangings Exhibition on display in the Great Hall of the Culture Center. The crowd-pleasing annual juried exhibition features exquisite quilts and wall hangings representing the talents of West Virginia quiltmakers. Quilts and Wall Hangings 2022 will be on display from May 27 – Sept. 13. A separate exhibit, The Sounds of Music, includes various instruments from the West Virginia State Museum permanent collection.

Visit for a complete schedule of Vandalia Gathering events. Vandalia Gathering contests are open to West Virginia residents only.