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Marlinton, West Virginia Screening Event & Community Celebration

Behind the scenes on our West Virginia film screening event in Marlinton in Pocahontas County.

What a truly special experience! I have just returned from the “Travels with Darley” screening event and community celebration in Marlinton, West Virginia. We highlighted this area for our “Travels with Darley” PBS series. To be able to watch the episode back in West Virginia in a beautiful, historic theatre with the wonderful locals who participated in our filming is something that I’ll always cherish.

Even the Mayor attended! Meeting Marlinton's Mayor Sam Felton in the Pocahontas County Opera House prior to the event.

Even the Mayor attended! Meeting Marlinton’s Mayor Sam Felton in the Pocahontas County Opera House prior to the event.

Pocahontas County is a destination well known for its abundant natural attractions, including the Monongahela National Forest, a national treasure located in the north-central highlands of West Virginia. Leaders from the Monongahela National Forest and the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau along with partners from Snowshoe Mountain Resort, the Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited and the National Forest Foundation joined forces to organize a special afternoon and evening of activities and the screening of “Travels with Darley: West Virginia Adventures” and “Monongahela National Forest” episodes- open to the public.

 

How could I resist this kettle corn! Perfectly popped.

How could I resist this kettle corn! Perfectly popped and prepared by the Women’s Club.

We film in a lot of destinations and meet some of the most wonderful people on our travels. It was heartwarming to be able to be together with so many of our filming participants both for the screening and a special post-screening panel, when the audience had the chance to ask us questions about the film process, West Virginia, the Monongahela National Forest and more.

Thomas Minney, who is featured in our Monongahela National Forests episode, takes a photo with me outside of the Pocahontas Opera House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Thomas Minney, who is featured in our Monongahela National Forest episode, takes a photo with me outside of the Pocahontas Opera House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The afternoon started with a few treats. Guests were greeted by the Women’s Club and their savory sweet kettle corn. Delicious! Various booths welcomed all ages to learn about nature and the environment, including why bats and snakes are so important and the diversity of flowers and plants at Cranberry Glades. Adventure activities abound in Pocahontas County and Snowshoe Resort was on hand to showcase their downhill mountain biking trails and lessons, something also featured in our “West Virginia Adventures” episode.

Hands on activities were available so guests could learn while participating, no matter what their age.

Hands on activities were available so guests could learn while participating, no matter what their age.

Roy Moose, a retired school-teacher, presents educational programs for all ages on both poisonous and nonpoisonous snakes in West Virginia.

Roy Moose, a retired school-teacher, presents educational programs for all ages on both poisonous and nonpoisonous snakes in West Virginia.

Getting crafty while learning about one of the most ecologically diverse areas in the USA.

Getting crafty while learning about one of the most ecologically diverse areas in the USA.

Children and adults got into crafts, coloring, painting and meeting live snakes. Snake expert Roy Moose was so captivating that he even convinced me to hold a few snakes… and it was pretty cool.

Roy was so captivating that he even convinced me to hold a few snakes... and it was pretty cool.

My hands get a once over from two small, colorful snakes.

Monongahela National Forest Supervisor Clyde Thompson also welcomed guests to the event.

Monongahela National Forest Supervisor Clyde Thompson welcomed guests to the event outside and gave an opening speech on stage to kick off the screening.

The outdoor portion concluded and everyone headed inside the Pocahontas County Opera House, a truly beautiful space. The top performing arts center for Pocahontas County, the century old building is on the National Register of Historic Places and once played host to Vaudeville acts in the early 20th century. Thanks to the strong local community, it’s been resurrected and preserved.

Cynthia Sandeno, the Monongahela National Forest’s Marlinton/White Sulphur District Ranger, sets the stage for the night and brings on a surprise guest, Smokey Bear.

Cynthia Sandeno, the Monongahela National Forest’s Marlinton/White Sulphur District Ranger, sets the stage for the night and brings on a surprise guest, Smokey Bear.

Cynthia Sandeno leads a panel featuring me and the on camera stars of our episode, including Rosanna Springsten from Cranberry Glades, Dustin Wichterman of Trout Unlimited, Thomas Minney of The Nature Conservancy and Mary Snyder from Cass.

Cynthia Sandeno leads a panel featuring me and the on camera stars of our “Monongahela National Forest” episode, including Rosanna Springsten from Cranberry Glades, Dustin Wichterman of Trout Unlimited, Thomas Minney of The Nature Conservancy and Mary Snyder, who grew up in Cass and recently retired after 41 years at the Cass Scenic Railroad State Park.

Fly fishing with Dustin Wichterman of Trout Unlimited at Seneca Rocks plays on the big screen in the theatre.

Our segment on fly fishing with Dustin Wichterman of Trout Unlimited at Seneca Rocks plays on the big screen in the theatre. The Monongahela National Forest is home to more than 600 miles of coldwater streams that are inhabited year-round by native brook trout.

One of the Bodkin sisters from The Last Run Restaurant was on hand to dish out ice cream for sundaes.

One of the Bodkin sisters from The Last Run Restaurant, featured in our PBS episode, was on hand to dish out ice cream for sundaes while guests could mingle and also check out historical photos and information on the opera house, which lines the inside walls.

More than one-third of the more than 900,000-acre Monongahela National Forest is in Pocahontas County, which is located within a day’s drive of about half of our nation’s population. Marlinton is located about 3.5 hours from Richmond and 4.5 hours from Washington, DC, making it relatively accessible. We are excited to have been able to film and share stories of the rich Monongahela National Forest and part of West Virginia.

If you haven’t seen these episodes, look for “West Virginia Adventures” on your local PBS TV station, Create TV and Amazon Prime and watch “Monongahela and Finger Lakes National Forests” on PBS and Create TV, and coming late fall to Amazon Prime.

Preview the Monongahela National Forest episode.
Preview “West Virginia Adventures.”

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Travels with Darley is a travel TV series broadcast on PBS stations and on digital networks, including the AOL On Network. Host Darley Newman of "Equitrekking" fame joins locals to showcase the top food, culture and adventure attractions in the USA and around the globe.

TravelswithDarley.com is the companion site with travel guides, videos and information so viewers can recreate the adventures seen on the series and beyond.

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