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Stephen S. McDaniel, Director

News Release: July 6, 2017

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Media Contact: Samantha Smith 304-957-9364 Samantha.Smith@wv.gov


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

Minnie Pearl and Appalachian Ghost Stories at Blackwater Falls State Park

DAVIS, W.Va. — Blackwater Falls State Park is offering two special programs in July as part of its Summer of Fun series. The series, coordinated by park naturalist Paulita Cousin, will give guests an opportunity to meet Minnie Pearl or listen to Appalachian ghost stories around an evening campfire.

Minnie Pearl will appear at the park on Wednesday, July 12, as part of the History Alive! program. Pearl, whose real name was Sarah Colley, is best known for her long-running show “Hee Haw.” Pearl studied theater while in college during the Great Depression with intentions of becoming a serious actress. While touring with a theater company, she created the comedic down-home character of Minnie Pearl to help promote performances. Her first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry in 1940 was a success and eased fears that her satire of rural ways might not be appreciated by country audiences. People instead embraced Pearl as one of their own, and she became a legend in country entertainment.

Denise Giardina of Charleston, West Virginia, portrays Minnie Pearl and opens the show with a big “Howdeeeeee!,” much like Pearl did on her popular show. The family friendly program starts at 7:30 p.m. on July 12 and lasts about one hour. It is open to the public at no cost. The History Alive! program is made possible by the West Virginia Humanities Council and the West Virginia State Park system.

On Saturday, July 15, park guests may enjoy Appalachian ghost stories around a campfire with JoAnn Dadisman, a premiere ghost story teller. Dadisman is a life-long West Virginian and a retired professor of English at WVU. A professional storyteller, Dadisman wrote “Rising the Spirits: An Appalachian Sampler of Stories to Be Told.” The program will start at 7:30 p.m. on July 15, at the park’s nature center. Dadisman will be around the cracking campfire, under the last quarter of a waning moon. The event is free and open to the public.

To learn about other activities, special programs, and events at Blackwater Falls State park or to make room, cabin or campsite reservations, call 304-259-5216 or visit www.blackwaterfalls.com.