The longest running festival in a Virginia State Park and a Crooked Road Affiliate Festival, the Hungry Mother Festival, will be celebrating its 46th year this summer. It was started by a small group of local women who were stymied in their outdoor painting activity by rain. They decided Hungry Mother State Park was the perfect place to put on an Arts and Crafts Festival. This tradition continues July 19, 20 and 21, 2019 at Hungry Mother State Park in Marion, Virginia, drawing exhibitors and visitors from far and near. Come enjoy the Arts and Craft Show voted #1 by readers of Blue Ridge Country magazine in 2018, and #3 Best Art Event in Southwest Virginia in Virginia Living magazine in 2018 and #2 in 2019.

Presented by the Art League of Marion, an all-volunteer organization, in cooperation with the Department of Conservation and Recreation and in partnership with Spectrum Reach, the three days of outdoor family fun include original, hand-crafted arts and crafts as well as music, and festival food. Approximately one hundred exhibitors coming from Michigan, Florida and states in between will show and sell their original handcrafted artistic creations in the scenic park setting. Visitors to this year’s festival can expect to find exhibitors selling jewelry, books by local authors, baskets, fabric and fiber items, furniture, metal work, leather, photography, pottery, snacks, toys, wood crafts, and many one-of-a-kind items. Entertainment will include a variety of musicians, clogging, wildlife demonstrations, children’s art activities (nature, traditional Appalachian art, and recycle/upcycle), and other programs.

Visitors may also enjoy the beautiful park. The lake provides a place for canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, paddle boating, and great fishing as well as a sandy swimming beach. Eighteen miles of trails are available for hiking and mountain biking. A special “People of the Park” geocache, a Track Trail with a scavenger hunt, a self-guided Civilian Conservation Corps trail, and various Park Packs with children’s activities will be available.

Admission to the festival is free. Parking fees are $9 per vehicle per day and $12 for a discounted three-day weekend pass. The festival is open rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. District Three Mountain Lynx will provide free shuttle services between the downtown Marion Farmer’s Market and Hungry Mother State Park (Lot 5 by the Restaurant) all weekend long.

Festival proceeds assist in providing college scholarships to Smyth County students continuing their education in visual art, music, and theater; sponsor a county-wide high school art show; promote and support a variety of community programs promoting the arts; and fund improvements and art programs at Hungry Mother State Park. Further information (activities, exhibitors, and schedules), is available on our website or on Facebook.

After enjoying the day at the Arts and Craft Show and the beautiful park, go to Downtown Marion for lots of free evening activities for everyone during Festival Weekend! Friday night brings live music by Phantom for the annual street dance on Main Street. Saturday starts with Marion’s Farmers Market (8am- 12 Noon) in the town square parking lot. Then, that evening, return downtown once again for free activities: View antique cars, Sample and vote for your favorite chili at the 33rd annual chili cook-off, and listen to live music. For more information, visit or call 276-783-4190.

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