The town of Clay was alive this weekend with what looked like an Apple Festival in the summer time. There were local vendors from all around the county selling their wares and demonstrating their craft as well as visiting entrepreneurs with their booths. The Osborne family put up their teepee, taught native crafts and demonstrated some drumming and singing along with the help of friends. There was music and food, and if you left hungry or disappointed, it was your own fault. The ones who make this festival happen did a super job.
While there were many events at Elk River Fest this year, there was a new one. For the people who like a new challenge, the Buffalo Creek and Gauley Recreational Trail opened a six mile stretch from Pisgah to the Dundon campground. One of the top billings for the festival is the Elk River Pedal, Paddle & Run challenge; a brutal 23 mile event where individuals and teams compete. The race consists of a run from Clay Court House to just below the Pierson sawmill. From there, contestants kayak to a point on Elkhurst, grab a bicycle and race back to the high school. This year’s winner in the men’s individual bracket was Tom Samples who took the lead in the race from J R Luyster in the kayak leg of the race. J R had a commanding lead after the run but had some troubles with his kayak which allowed other participants to move ahead. Sarah Fletcher reigns once again as the queen of the race coming in first in the women’s bracket for the second year in a row. Overall, she placed second. In the co-ed team bracket, it was Appalachian Thunder who took first. The team consisted of Donnie Price, Brittani Price and JT Foxx. Tom Samples took the crown in the men’s bracket with J R Luyster taking second and Chris Wiley finishing third. Congratulations to all the winners. Unfortunately, there were no local participants in the event this year. It was a great festival even though attendance was down a little, but the festivities were rocking. If you missed it, you missed a great time.