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Teams prepare for 25th annual Roadkill Cook-off in Marlinton


The Inter-Mountain

MARLINTON, W.Va. — When the 25th West Virginia Roadkill Cook-off brings live music, crafts, exhibits and more than 100 vendors to Marlinton this weekend, the main attraction will of course be the unique food.

Teams will cook up everything from bear, deer, squirrel, turtle and rabbit — and come up with catchy themes to go along with their “roadkill” fare, said Bill Jordan, this year’s event organizer and a longtime participant. Jordan is president of the Pocahontas County Chamber of Commerce, which presents the festival along with the Town of Marlinton, Pocahontas County Dramas, Fairs & Festivals and a host of sponsors.

“We have some teams that really get into it,” he said, explaining fun themes over the years have prompted a number of contestants to dress up. For example, Jordan said he and his teammates cooked venison and dressed up in Christmas costumes for their theme of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.”

“We have a blast,” he said, noting the whole town is full of locals and visitors who want to sample the “roadkill,” check out the entertainment and have a great time. “Everybody has a lot of fun. It’s a long day, but it’s a good day.”

He said he encourages each team to have enough food on hand for at least 2,000 samples, which people can taste by purchasing an armband.

Over the years, word about the Roadkill Cook-off has spread and it has received coverage from the Food Network, the Travel Channel and the Discovery Channel.

Cooking will start at 9 a.m. Saturday, with judging at noon. Those interested in tasting the “grub” can try samples after 11 a.m.

Teams can win cash prizes for Best of Show, People’s Choice and first, second and third place.

The Road Kill Cook-off is taking place in conjunction with the 32nd Annual Autumn Harvest Festival, and events will get started Friday night with the Rockin Redneck Square Dance from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Pocahontas County Opera House in Marlinton.

Saturday’s events will include a Possum Trot 5K Run/Walk, the Hudson Cream West Virginia Biscuit Bake-off, a dog show at noon, the Autumn Harvest County Fair Exhibit, live music from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a large selection of vendors. Jordan said there will be plenty of food, wine and handcrafted gift items for sale, such as pottery, soap, baskets, jewelry, purses and more.

He said children’s activities also will take place all day.

More information is available online at

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