Oak Leaf Festival kicks off Aug. 31 in Oak Hill

It’s back and better than ever… what a great way to ring in the lingering days of summer than the Oak Leaf Festival.

An annual tradition in its 24th year, the Oak Leaf Festival is chock full of activities… Including more than 80 vendors, food trucks, parades and floats, car shows, bands, contests, amusement rides (behind Chase Bank), and more.

Enjoy the festivities this Labor Day weekend — starting Thursday, Aug. 31 through Sunday, Sept. 3 on Main Street in Oak Hill.

According to director Saundie Smith, in addition to all the locals, the festival attracts a cross-section of America.

“We have people coming from the Charleston area, from the Lewisburg area, Summersville; every year more people come from different places,” Smith said.
To pull this whole thing off, she says the planning starts early in the year.

“We have about 10 committee members… They’re anywhere from education, businesses here in town, there’s people like me who are retired,” said the director.

It’s a true collaborative effort to make sure all the pieces (and there are many pieces) fit together for an event this size.

“The vendors, you have to make sure you get everyone where they need to be; you have to have garbage, you have to have portable toilets, all that has to be done and you have to make sure it’s done before it starts,” Smith said.

Thursday night kicks off their first cornhole tournament and if it’s successful, Saundie says they’ll do it yearly. Friday evening you can enjoy ‘Sweet Taste’ baking contest and photography/art show with cash prizes. Saturday the vendors open at 8 am.

“And we’re hoping to get our young people out,” said the director. “For 18 and under, at 12:30 we have a talent show at the amphitheater, and we have a chili cookoff, fireworks.”
Five thousand people came to the festival in 2022, Saundie says she’s hoping for that or more this year.

“I’d just like to see the community come out and support it because we can only be successful if they’re out here helping us,” said Smith.

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