BECKLEY, W.Va. – It was the first of its kind in the nation and the craft industry’s top trade publication described it as “West Virginia’s Bold Experiment.” Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia is turning 20-years old next week and will celebrate its anniversary on June 20, West Virginia Day.
The dream of former Governor Gaston Caperton (1999-2006), Tamarack’s striking, peaked red roof draws half a million visitors annually with most of the travelers coming from an interstate corridor running from Ohio to South Carolina. Its unique retail artisan products and extraordinary food fare started out as a simple vision to promote the Mountain State’s wonderful image. Over the years, Tamarack has continued to grow.
“Tamarack has become an important part of West Virginia’s economy, especially for artisan entrepreneurs and small businesses,” said Jim Browder, executive director of Tamarack. “The center showcases more than 2,800 artisans from all 55 counties in West Virginia.”
Located in Southern West Virginia, Tamarack is just a few miles from the nation’s top whitewater rafting, rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, skiing and other outdoor activities. The center is also a popular stop off for people driving to and from east coast beach locations.
Gov. Caperton and many of those instrumental in the facility’s success will be returning to Tamarack on June 20. The anniversary activities will include artisan demonstrations, music, the dedication of a new open air gallery, and a gala dinner.
Tamarack is named for the resilient Tamarack tree, native to West Virginia.
20th Anniversary Schedule
All-Day – Artisan Demonstrations
– Merideth Young – UpCycled Jewelry
– Christine Keller – Jewelry
– John DesMeules – Glass Blowing
– Greg and Tish Westman – Bowed Psaltery
1:00 p.m. – West Virginia Day/Tamarack Birthday Cake
– 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – T. Paige Delparto
– 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. John Wyatt
5:45 p.m. – Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for new open air gallery
6 p.m. – Gala
– October 1994 – Groundbreaking
– May 1996 – Grand Opening
– December 1996 – One (1) millionth visitor enters Tamarack
– June 2002 – Conference Center Addition Groundbreaking
– June 2003 – Conference Center Grand Opening
– April 2015 – Tamarack celebrates eight (8) millionth visitor