New River Birding and Nature Festival goes virtual this year

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – This time every year, people from all over the world typically father at Oppossum Creek Retreat in Fayette County for the annual New River Birding and Nature Festival. 

This year, it has gone virtual as the coordinators stream every morning on Facebook Live to bird watch and educate those who have been tuning in.

Even though co-coordinator Geoff Heeter would love to celebrate their 18th annual festival in person this year, he says Facebook Live has opened up a new door to reach more people as he says viewers are tuning in from all over. 

“They are from as far away as Germany and then a lot of local folks too, you know, from right here in Fayette County and around West Virginia,” Heeter said. 

Keith Richardson, another co-coordinator, says it has been so successful that they might starting incorporating it into future festivals.

“I’m just thinking that Facebook Live could definitely be a welcomed element in future festivals even when we do have the guests here,” Richardson said.   

Every year, the funding from the festival goes to the Fayette County Education Fund to help with Leadership Fayette County, and they are still taking donations this year.

The festival will last until Saturday on the their Facebook page. 

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Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.