2013 FESTIVAL SHIRTBy Terri Allen
Each year questions start pouring in about when shirts, pins and other festival souvenirs will be available.  These are always popular items along with the festival program book.  This year postcards were released first with pins following.  Last week brochures were placed around town and passed out at the panther football game.
In 2012, the festival took on a new approach in marketing by asking local artists to contribute their work for the festival’s promotional materials.  Lorna Frye, from Clay,  submitted the 2012 program book cover idea and her artwork was not only used for the festival’s program book in 2012; but, the artwork was also placed on the 2012 premier festival souvenir t-shirt.  Lorna also crafted and hand painted a photo op board for fun photos which was used in 2012 and it will be on display again this year. New York Fashion designer Dartanya Butcher, originally from Clay, contributed her festival artwork in 2012 and it was printed on a special artisan’s t-shirt with the help of Diana McLaughlin, from Clay, (Diane & Kendall’s Shirts and More).   Dartanya signed glossy fashion photos during her visit to the festival.   Mary Beth Taylor’s agricultural photo of her dad, Norval Acree, picking golden delicious apples won the 1st place blue ribbon as the 2013 WV Agricultural photo of the year.  The festival, with her permission, used this photo on its brochure, website and the postcard during 2013.
In keeping with these trends, the festival has once again printed its premier festival shirt and an artisan’s style shirt.  The artisan’s design was created by Allen Hamrick.  Mr. Hamrick has multiple talents that can be seen throughout Clay County including the new wooden benches in the Town of Clay and photography displays in the Clay County Free Press.  Many of his wood-crafts are available at Tamarack, West Virginia’s premier showcase of local artisans.  His design depicts the roots of the golden delicious apple tree noting that the roots of Clay County brought about the world famous apple; our people, our ground, our apple.
The premier shirt design displays a t-shirt slogan idea submitted by Harold Allen, “My Home is in the Mountains” since the golden delicious has it’s home in the mountains of Clay County, West Virginia.  Mr. Allen stated that having lived in the mountains of Oregon, Colorado, Kentucky, Arizona, and West Virginia that “the mountains are what people miss most when they live anywhere else”.   Combining the history of the golden delicious apple and the pride of living in the mountains of West Virginia came the idea for the premier festival shirt.
The information/souvenir table will be set up in the courthouse square starting Thursday evening, September 19, 2013.  The festival program book, pins, mugs, pens, umbrellas and t-shirts will be available while they last.