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Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor
Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release: July 2, 2014

Facebook: WV Commerce - State Parks

Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 957-9365 hoy.r.murphy@wv.gov

Contact:

Paulita Cousin, Blackwater Falls State Park Paulita.A.Cousin@wv.gov 304-259-5216


Blackwater Falls State Park features family activities, crafts and champion liar Bil Lepp to celebrate Independence Day Weekend

DAVIS, West Virginia – Special Independence Day weekend events and activities are planned at Blackwater Falls State Park July 3-6, including a Thursday evening performance by Bil Lepp, West Virginia's popular comedian, storyteller and humorist.

"We also will have programs that include crafts and nature studies that encourage youth and adults to get involved in outdoors activities," said Paulita Cousin, park naturalist. Other activities in the area over the holiday weekend include Mountaineer Days in nearby Thomas with live bands, fireman events and fireworks.

Blackwater Falls State Park is located near Davis in Tucker County. To learn more about the lodge, cabins, campground, restaurant and activities, visit www.blackwaterfalls.com or call 304-259-5216. Nature Center hours and boat rentals on Pendleton Lake vary weekly. West Virginia State Parks activities are available at www.wvstateparks.com under "At-A-Park."

About Bil Lepp

Bil Lepp brings a free performance to Blackwater Falls at 7:30 p.m. Thursday July 3 at the Blackwater Falls conference center. Lepp is a nationally renowned storyteller and five-time champion of the West Virginia Liars' Contest. His outrageous, humorous tall tales and witty stories have earned the appreciation of listeners of all ages and from all walks of life, from schools to veterans' homes, churches to colleges, and from festivals to formal dinners. Though a champion liar, his hilarious, insightful stories often contain morsels of truth that shed light on subjects such as politics, religion, relationships and human nature. A storyteller, author and recording artist, Lepp's works have received awards and recognition from The Parents' Choice Foundation, The National Parenting Publications Association, Storytelling World and the Public Library Association. Lepp has been featured numerous times at the National Storytelling Festival, the Smithsonian Folk life Festival and major storytelling and corporate events across the country.

Other activities at Blackwater Falls State Park July 4-6, 2014

Blackwater Falls staff organize family- and youth-friendly activities that are open to the public. Crafts generally have a material fee to cover costs. Hikes and organized recreation are free to attend. There is no entry fee to visit state-operated parks.

Friday, July 4 – West Virginia snakes program beginning at 10:30 a.m., followed by related craft-making sessions; "The Bear Facts" presentation about black bears at 10:30 a.m.; butterfly clock craft at 11:30 a.m.; nature scavenger hunt at 1 p.m.; nature print craft at 1:30 p.m.; solar system and constellation activity at 2 p.m.; "Ring of Fire" afternoon campfire at 2:30 p.m.; parachute cord bracelet craft at 3:30 p.m.; and "Friendship Flip-flops" craft at 5 p.m.

Saturday, July 5 – Park activities include: Tie-dye T-shirts beginning at 10 a.m.; "Duck Pond" game at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.; "Wet 'n' Wild Stream Stompin'" stream critter study at 11:30 a.m.; "Beat the Heat" animal adaptations study at 1:30 p.m.; "Bear-ly There Story Time" at 2 p.m.; "Flying Wild – Life as a Bird" game at 3:30 p.m.; and firefly craft at 5 p.m.  Park guests and visitors also may be interested in Mountaineer Days activities at the nearby town of Thomas. A full schedule for Mountaineer Days is available at http://thomaswvmtdays.weebly.com/ or by calling 304-288-6164.

Sunday July 6 – Park activities include: interdenominational worship service at 9 a.m.; "Oh Deer!" presentation about white-tailed deer at 10:30 a.m.; nail necklace craft at 11:30 a.m.; spider craft at 1 p.m.; "Spontaneous Nature Center" at 1:30 p.m.; wood tray craft at 2 p.m.; placemat weaving craft at 3 p.m.; and "Food Chain" craft at 4:30 p.m.

**DNR**

Bil Lepp photo courtesy of http://leppstorytelling.com/
Bil Lepp photo courtesy of http://leppstorytelling.com/

Blackwater Falls State Park lodge photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce
Blackwater Falls State Park lodge photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce