Oak Leaf Festival returns to Oak Hill after cancellation last year

OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – Thursday, September 2, marks the beginning of the 22nd annual Oak Leaf Festival.

The yearly festivities began in Oak Hill almost 21 years ago and is celebrated each Labor Day weekend.

This year’s festival comes after a lengthy hiatus, because according to Oak Leaf Festival Director Saundie Smith, last year’s was cancelled due to COVID-19. 

“Little uncertain with COVID still going on, but I think we’re gonna be okay this year,” Smith said. “It’s all outside. We’re gonna suggest social distancing. If you’re comfortable with wearing masks, it’s gonna be your choice.”

But the long wait is made up for with all sorts of activities throughout the rest of this week and the weekend.

On the first day, September 2, there will be a meet and greet at Oak Hill Middle School, followed by some gospel music at the Oak Hill Nazarene Church. And there is tons more later on, including vendor shows, a parade and more. 

“Saturday starts out with vendors open at 8am. We’re having about 80 vendors at least.”

There’s also going to be a Jeep show on Main Street, a parade of lights Friday evening, a magician and other performances, and even a photo contest. It’s all a way to bring a sense of community back to Oak Hill after the cancellation last year.

“I just think it brings the community together, gets people to get out and visit each other, especially after last year having to cancel because of COVID.”

The Oak leaf Festival kicks off Thursday evening and continues until Sunday, September 5.

For a full list of events during the Oak Leaf Festival, visit the festival’s website here.

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