RIPLEY, W.Va. -- The Mountain State Art & Craft Fair is celebrating its 50th anniversary.The festival runs this Thursday through Saturday at the Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley.The event began in 1963 as part of West Virginia's centennial celebration. It attracted about 6,500 people that year. Today it draws many more.President Jan Sizemore says it features the best of Appalachian music, food, heritage exhibits and family activities, as well as the works of hundreds of artisans.
There's a Civil War encampment and rocket demonstration Thursday, followed by a fishing derby Friday.The highlight of the final day is the Firecracker Chili Cook-off. Prizes will be awarded in three categories -- red chili, verde and salsa.Separate prizes go to the best cornbread bakers.