Featured Events

There's so much to do in Nature's Mountain Playground.  Our biggest and best events are listed here but don't forget to go to the calendar and see even more weekly and monthly activities!

October 21, 2016

Our new SETI Tour celebrates Green Bank’s historic Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence with this 3-hour tour. Participants begin with an exclusive presentation right in the control room of our historic 85-1 Telescope where the search began with Frank Drake’s OZMA Project. From there, guests enjoy a rare tour inside the 140-foot telescope control room where Jill Tartar’s Project Phoenix began and then to normally-restricted GBT access points. The tour ends in our Drake Lounge where you will be greeted by NRAO Staff and learn about the future of SETI as GBT embarks on the new Breakthrough Listen project. If you’ve ever wanted to be inside our operation control rooms or to speak to one of our radio astronomers in person, then this is THE opportunity of a lifetime! Advance reservations and screening strictly required at least 40 hours in advance. 20 participants max, 4 min.; Ages 12 & up. Hard hats and light refreshments provided. Special dates by request on limited availability.

October 22, 2016

One of the world’s foremost fingerstyle guitarists and harp-guitarists, Muriel Anderson is the first woman to have won the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship. Her recent CD “Nightlight Daylight” has won top honors in 11 national awards. She has performed/recorded with Chet Atkins, Les Paul, Victor Wooten and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra. Her obvious joy of music, humor and her facility across the genres of folk, classical, jazz, bluegrass and international music is revered by guitarists worldwide. An engaging performer, Muriel’s unique approach to the instrument virtually transforms the guitar into a lyrical choir, then a marching band, then a Japanese koto, then a Bluegrass band, one minute launching into a Beatles’ tune and the next, a Rodrigo concerto. Muriel is host of the renowned Muriel Anderson’s ALL STAR GUITAR NIGHT® and founder of the MUSIC FOR LIFE ALLIANCE charity. In addition, her new program incorporates stunning visuals by Bryan Allen.

October 22, 2016 to October 22, 2016

NRAO Staff will treat you to views of the night sky through optical telescopes. If it rains, don’t worry! You are invited into our portable planetarium for a stellar presentation. Start time changes seasonally. Starts at 8 pm.

October 29, 2016 to October 29, 2016

The goblins are on the move! Hot dog roast and more at spooky Whittaker Station. Departs Cass at 6 p.m. Adult (12 & Over) $44 Senior (65+) $42 Child (4–11) $34 Child (3 & under) Free Reserve Online

November 05, 2016

Paul Asaro is known as one of the finest of a select group of pianists who have mastered the demanding two-handed jazz and ragtime piano styles from the first half of the 20th century. The Stride piano of James P. Johnson, Willie “The Lion” Smith and Fats Waller, the New Orleans styles of Jelly Roll Morton, the ragtime of Scott Joplin and Eubie Blake, stomps, boogie woogie and swing, Asaro plays them all with a fine ear for detail, blending the elements into his own personal style. Indeed, most of Paul’s earliest influences were more recent pianists such as Dick Wellstood, Ralph Sutton and Butch Thompson, musicians who worked within these traditions while at the same time developing their own unique approach.. In a career now spanning two decades, Paul has performed at theaters and clubs worldwide and has appeared at such major venues as the Chicago Jazz Festival, Ravinia, the Toronto Jazz Festival, the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal and the Ascona Jazz Festival in Switzerland. He has performed onstage with such musical legends and luminaries as Leon Redbone, Steve Allen, Marian McPartland, Butch Thompson, Jeff Healy and Vince Giordano.

November 12, 2016 to November 12, 2016

NRAO staff guides kids of all ages through fun-filled, hands-on science projects. We provide all the materials. Each lab highlights a different science/engineering theme. 10 am - noon

November 19, 2016

Kentucky-born cellist and composer Ben Sollee likes to keep moving. He kicked off 2014 with the release of his score for the documentary film Maidentrip. In March, he performed at Carnegie Hall as part of a tribute to Paul Simon. Throughout April and May, he was out supporting song-writer William Fitzsimmons. This September, he toured for two weeks in Europe and returned to the United States to perform with the Charlotte Ballet. If you’ve seen him perform, you know it’s not to missed. For listeners just discovering Ben’s music, you’ll find that there’s a lot more to it than just songs. Ben’s music can be heard in film and on TV. Shows like ABC’s Parenthood and HBO’s Weeds have placed songs. In 2013, Ben was invited by director Mark Steven Johnson to write a song for the film Killing Season starring John Travolta and Robert De Niro. 2014 is Ben’s second year performing with the North Carolina Dance Theater in Dangerous Liaisons, a play with music written by Ben Sollee.

November 25, 2016 to November 27, 2016

Departs from Cass at 5pm and 7 pm ~ Learn what it takes to earn your Elf stripes and join in with Santa’s troop for that true feeling of Christmas!

November 30, 2016 to December 04, 2016

Departs from Cass at 5 pm and 7 pm Learn what it takes to earn your Elf stripes and join in with Santa’s troop for that true feeling of Christmas!

December 02, 2016 to December 02, 2016

Get into the spirit of Christmas, enjoy the parade and watch Santa arrive in Marlinton. You can do some shopping and visit the local craft show while enjoying all the lovely Christmas decorations. Many of the businesses in downtown Marlinton will be having an open house on that evening so be sure to drop in if not to buy then certainly to enjoy fellowship and a hot drink.

December 07, 2016 to December 11, 2016

Departs from Cass at 5 pm and 7 pm Learn what it takes to earn your Elf stripes and join in with Santa’s troop for that true feeling of Christmas!

February 06, 2017 to February 06, 2017

One of Snowshoe's oldest traditions, conquer the steeps of the legendary Western Territory in this giant slalom race. Multiple classes for ski and snowboard

February 11, 2017 to February 12, 2017

A camp dedicated to the little shredders! The grooms work with our expert coaches as they make new friends and spend the day expanding their skills. Non-competitive prizes for all participants.

February 17, 2017 to February 19, 2017

George Washington never got to ski the Western Territory, but you can! Take advantage of the long weekend with peak conditions.

February 18, 2017

Sugar Run began as the husband and wife team of Mike (banjo, guitar and vocals) and Bonnie Johnson (bass fiddle and vocals), and has grown to include Geoff White on fiddle and vocals, Rachel Johnson on Fiddle, and Stanley Asbury on the rhythm and flat-pickin’ style guitar and vocals. All of us play in or with other groups in the region, as well. We are located in the Allegheny Mountain regions of Virginia and West Virginia, and our regular performance venues include the New River Valley of Virginia and West Virginia, and the Greenbrier Valley of West Virginia. We do, of course, play in other areas as the opportunities arise. Our musical repertoire consists primarily of traditional music of the Southern Appalachian and Piedmont regions in the style of older (and some contemporary) Bluegrass, Old-Time, old “Country” music, a few Cajun tunes (in French, by Geoff) and some ancient ballads and tunes with roots back to the Scottish, Irish, and English lands. Our music includes songs of: love-gone-bad; train wrecks; bad-men and hangings; murders; ghosts and hauntings; moonshine whiskey; and death and Redemption. (Many, if not all those themes may occur in the same song!). We also include songs of humor as well as peppy fiddle tunes suitable for flat-footin’, square dancing, or just standing around and tapping your feet. Hot Mater Gravy Hot Mater Gravy features Homer Hunter, who is a one-of-a-kind story teller and a local radio personality. “Hot Mater Gravy,” is a band that plays traditional bluegrass. The band’s influences include Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, Ricky Scaggs, Flatt and Scruggs, and Larry Sparks. Members of Hot Mater Gravy include Homer Hunter, Dana Moyers from Lewisburg W.Va. on the mandolin; Dewitt Daniell also from Lewisburg, plays a straight ahead Scruggs-style banjo; Bob Riggleman from Lewisburg is on bass; Bob’s wife, Julie Riggleman is on vocals and a second rhythm guitar; and Dave Buck, from Pocahontas County, is on lead guitar.

February 25, 2017 to February 25, 2017

Presenting the annual slopestyle competition, WV Open presented by Monster. The best riders in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast will compete for a cash purse, prizes and more! Registration is $25 and the competition will be held on Mountaineer Park at Silver Creek. Registration starts at 12pm.

March 03, 2017 to March 05, 2017

A celebration of the region's best musicians. Live music includes Larry Keel, The Jawga Boys and more, across the mountain all weekend long.

March 10, 2017 to March 12, 2017

An unforgettable spring break, you'll likely not remember. Free Village concerts, competitions, games & more.

March 18, 2017 to March 18, 2017

We're giving out free lift tickets to all residents of West Virginia! Yep, you heard it right. Just bring your proof of residency and get a ticket to ski and ride all weekend long.

March 26, 2017

We know, it's a sad day, but come on out and mourn with us the est way we know how - smiling, laughing and spraying snow.

April 29, 2017

NRAO Staff will treat you to views of the night sky through optical telescopes. If it rains, don’t worry! You are invited into our portable planetarium for a stellar presentation. Start time changes seasonally. Starts at 5 pm.

April 29, 2017 to April 29, 2017

The Great Greenbrier River Race is a triathlon held in Marlinton, consisting of a 3 mile run, a 4 mile river trip by kayak or canoe, and a 10 mile bike ride. This triathlon takes place along the Greenbrier River Trail and is for the young and old alike. The Great Greenbrier River Race is a family friendly event, and people come from 13 different states to enjoy the event. It's also become a great spectator sport so if you're not in it, come out and cheer for the rest of them.

May 18, 2017 to May 21, 2017

The 29th Annual GTBT is a 3-day, 100-mile ride on the Greenbrier River Trail. Cyclists with varying levels of experience are invited. All meals, lodging and transportation included as well as sag service, medics and mechanics. There is a non-refundable registration fee and riders are required to raise $500 in pledges. Funds raised will benefit the American Lung Association in WV to support its mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through research, advocacy and education. Please register through the website. For more information contact: 304-342-6600

May 20, 2017

NRAO Staff will treat you to views of the night sky through optical telescopes. If it rains, don’t worry! You are invited into our portable planetarium for a stellar presentation. Start time changes seasonally. Starts at 8 pm.

June 09, 2017 to June 11, 2017

Come join us for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's 5th annual Space Race Rumpus! This unique cycling event festival is located at the home of the world's largest steerable telescope, the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank telescope or the GBT as we call it around here. The Observatory's location in beautiful Pocahontas County sits in the middle of some of the most scenic views and trails in the mid-Atlantic. The Space Race Rumpus routes explore both the Observatory's unique property and the surrounding area. Over the weekend long event you can participate in guided rides - for both mountain and road biking enthusiasts - and compete on a short track course right next to eight radio telescopes, including the 485-foot tall GBT. There will be rides and races for all ages and levels, as well as cycling clinics and vendors.

June 19, 2017 to June 24, 2017

Allegheny Echoes is the concept of a group of West Virginia musicians and writers who wish to promote, support, preserve, and teach their own art without distracting influences. Their goal is to provide an accurate representation of West Virginia art that is not packaged and altered to appeal to a specific market. There is a strong emphasis placed on West Virginia tradition with an overall look toward the embracing Appalachian culture. The Summer Workshops offer a chance for students of all ages and abilities to come together to learn, appreciate, and enjoy our West Virginia ways.

June 23, 2017 to June 25, 2017

The Little levels Heritage Fair honors the achievements of members of the Little Levels community and celebrates the birthday of Pearl S. Buck. The event showcases local musicians, artisans, and local vendors.

July 06, 2017 to July 09, 2017

YES! Pioneers is back with new activities and events. Great homecoming style festival celebrating 51 wonderful years as the premiere festival in the region. Featuring bluegrass music, a fireman's parade, a grand parade, food concessions, old fashioned games, and demonstrations. Check back here often as more details become available.

July 12, 2017 to July 16, 2017

This event is 3 evenings, 1 full day, and a Sunday afternoon of fun, entertainment, and learning for all ages. Various events pit contestants to be the best at horseshoes, rug-of-war, greased pig chase, showing their pet, karaoke, hay bale throwing, archery shooting, and running or walking the 5K. There is music, bingo, food, and a carnival every day but Sunday. For Sunday we're planning a community covered dish noon meal and gospel music which is an addition to our festival. Saturday is a day filled with children’s activities, car show/and fireworks interspersed with other events listed above. We also include the Fireman's Parade on Friday and will be holding "Incarcerate a Friend" at the newly renovated town jail on Saturday. Please like” our Facebook page Durbin Days Heritage Festival for updates or contact us at

August 03, 2017 to August 05, 2017

We only have the dates right now but mark your calendars as this workshop series is always a big hit and fills up quickly. Check back in late spring and we'll have details of classes and instructors. Our program consists of three one-day workshops with experienced teachers for your learning enjoyment and quilting experience.

August 12, 2017 to August 12, 2017

Ourinaugural Watoga State Park Mountain Trail Challenge Half Marathon & 5K was so popular that we decided to have it again! Both races begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Beaver Creek Campground at the Park. Chip timing provided by TriState Racer. Hikers and park personnel have worked to make this 13.2 mile run through some of the best trails an experience you'll treasure. Proceeds go to the Watoga Foundation to assist the park with trail clearing, signage, rec hall and shelter upgrades and other maintenance tasks to keep the park and its trails in top-notch shape so people like you can enjoy them. Start your regimen now as we expect some great times on both races.

September 10, 2017 to September 10, 2017

Join us Sunday Sept. 11 for an afternoon (from 1 to 5 pm) of FREE family friendly activities: Check out all this fun! Science Day,Build and Launch Rockets, Build Engineering Kits, Visit the 140' Telescope • Science Experiments • Liquid Nitrogen Demos • Solar Telescope Viewing • Colorful Chemistry • Tie Dye a T-shirt • GBT Control Room Tours

September 24, 2017 to September 24, 2017

This traditional Appalachian festival features local artisans to demonstrate and sell their goods from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Demonstrations and goods including blacksmithing, spinning wheel, fly tying, wood turning, wood sculptures, dulcimer making and demonstrating, homemade soap, fudge, honey, maple syrup, and much more. We have limited space. Center merchandise 20% off.

September 29, 2017 to September 30, 2017

Join in on the fun at this legendary festival in the mountains of Pocahontas County. Music by local bands, great food vendors throughout the festival, as well as lots of fun! A $5 ticket gets you in to the tasting area where you can sample all the RoadKill delicacies. There will be dozens of crafters from all over the region with handmade arts and crafts. Food by local non-profits with some yummy goodies for worthy causes. Come spend the day in our Appalachian home!

September 30, 2017 to September 30, 2017

You're invited to show off your favorite biscuit recipe at the Hudson Cream Flour West Virginia Biscuit Bake Off at the Autumn Harvest Festival & WV Road Kill Cook Off Saturday, September 30 in Marlinton, WV Registration & receiving of entries @ Marlinton Municipal Building on 2nd Ave. 9 - 10 a.m. Judging begins at 10 a.m. Announcement of winners – Gazebo area at 12:30 p.m. Get complete rules and registration form by clicking the PDF at the "More Details" link.