An event organized to give pagans living in the Kanawha Valley a chance to make their presence known to those following a similar nature-based spiritual path will take place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Ordnance Park, in St. Albans.
The Charleston Area Pagan Pride event also aims to let the public learn what paganism is and is not, according to its organizer, Culann Lecher of Poca, a retired journeyman construction worker with the Boilermakers Union.
“Our theme is ‘Out of the Broom Closet,’” Lecher said. “We want to get all pagans in the area together to talk shop and spend some time amongst our own kind, which is kind of a rarity these days. It’s a cultural and an educational event.”
Those of other faiths and traditions are welcome to take part in the event, he said.
“We’re saying, ‘Here we are! Come take a look at us,’” Lecher said. “They’ll find out that we’re just normal people like they are, and not devil worshipers or involved in all this other stuff we’re supposedly doing. And we’re not out to change the way other people think about religion or spirituality. We just want to be left alone to be ourselves. We’re big proponents of co-existence.”
Lecher said he will present what he called a “Pagan 101” overview on what Paganism is about, while others will host brief programs on such topics as the Northern Pantheon of Norse gods and goddesses, Appalachian folk magic, and Reiki energy transfer.
“We’ll have a hodgepodge of vendors, artists and woodworkers, and a restaurant in the area is providing food service,” Lecher said.
Those attending the Charleston Area Pagan Pride event are asked to donate an item or two of nonperishable food which will in turn be donated to an area food pantry.