Ah, ha, ha, ha, Stayin’ Alive

Keeping Traditions Alive

man working on potters wheel

Maintaining life is, well, vital. (All puns intended.) Risky behavior such as driving fast, texting while driving, and taking adverse chances should rarely occur. Being bumped-off should certainly be avoided. We here in Marion County prefer that everyone live, continue living and try to flourish. That’s our motto! (OK, no it isn’t. But as far as mottos go, it’s not that bad… right?)

I know you’re dying to figure out what this blog could possibly be about. Is it cemeteries? Ghosts? Any sort of Halloween terror?


What we need to realize – which this blog will help us do – is the importance of keeping traditions alive!

There are some Marion Countians who are better at resuscitating and revitalizing practices that were, to put it delicately, once circling the drain. Who are they? What are they?

Let’s start at…

The Joe n Throw

Coffee (joe) has been around for centuries, so it’s not in danger of dying or even coming down with the common cold anytime soon. I’m talking about West Fork Pottery, the Throw part of the Joe n Throw. Michael Ray, pottery expert, and Carol Grimes, expert pottery teacher, are maintaining this incredible art offering classes and crafting items to sell.

man in red shirt working a blacksmith

Pricketts Fort

Living history interpreters (emphasis on living) maintain the skills of the past. They even host classes to teach regular people how to do it!

Mountain Dragon Mazery

Let’s talk about how the bees are dying, and let’s remember that we’re trying to keep things alive. So, what’s the solution? Alcohol, of course! Mountain Dragon Mazery makes honey wine, which has long been known as mead. They take care of their bees and their flowers to produce the most delicious and artisanal honey wine, preserving King Arthur’s memory at the same time.

Health Naturally

There are delicious and fragrant traditions that should still be part of our lives. Eat foods free of preservatives and discover earth-focused hygiene products. Keeping this tradition alive could very well keep us alive. Think about it.

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center

Preserving culture is of the utmost importance. Why? Culture and its heritage reflect and shape values, beliefs, and aspirations, thereby defining a people’s national identity. It is important to preserve our cultural heritage because it keeps our integrity as a people. It’s important to remember our history, who we’ve been and who we are so we recognize all the incredible ways that we are important. And that’s an especially necessary truth for Appalachians. The West Virginia Folklife Center preserves and shares Appalachian culture as well as the cultures of the people that make up Appalachia. Learn about the Irish, the Italian, the Polish and all the people that picked these mountains to continue their legacy.

Feast of the Seven Fishes

Appalachian culture? Heritage? Now it’s time to put your money where your mouth is! The Feast of the Seven Fishes Festival celebrates the Italian Christmas Eve tradition of eating so many kinds of fish, pasta and all the fritellas (locally known as frittis). Plus, there’s music, wine and Santa – I mean, Babbo Natale.

Rustic Woods

It’s a fairly common assumption and probable truth that the majority of American households have some sort of wooden objects on display or for use. The problem? It’s all the same factory-made, typical, hackneyed pieces of furniture. Let’s start appreciating differences from person-to-person, from home-to-home and from chair-to-chair. Don’t just keep uniqueness alive, keep woodworking alive!

Creekside Country Market

Shopping (and eating) here not only helps to keep alive the Amish tradition of making great food and candies, but it supports the Amish from here to Maryland. By keeping a tradition alive, you’re keeping a culture alive.

So as you’re looking forward to all the traditions of All Hallow’s Eve, Hocus Pocus, Thanksgiving, pumpkin pie, gingerbread cookies, and gifts, think of all the lovely traditions that got us here.

What traditions are important to you?   

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