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Culture & Entertainment

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A rich tapestry of entertainment and cultural opportunities await you in the Bluefields. Music, theater, art and dance beckon you to express your talents or applaud those of others.

You’ll want to be at the Bluefield Area Arts Center (located in Bluefield, West Virginia’s historic former city hall) when the curtain goes up for the latest Summit Players production. This popular community theater group has been pleasing audiences for several decades at the Summit Theatre.

The Bluefield Area Arts Center also contains an art gallery, a restaurant and the Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau. The building is on the National Historic Register.

Two new centers — the Performing Arts Center in Bluefield, West Virginia and the Chuck Mathena Center in Princeton, West Virginia — promise to enhance the region’s cultural appeal.

Theatergoers will also want to take in a show during the Bramwell Theater Festival that’s held each summer in historic Bramwell, West Virginia.

You don’t have to listen long before you hear live music in the Bluefields. The region’s mountain heritage shines through in the old-time and bluegrass music that is often heard in auditoriums, local nightspots and in the open air at parks and festivals.

Dedicated to preserving the music of the hills, the Appalachian Highlands Music Association sponsors monthly concerts that showcase the region’s up-and-coming bands along with more established groups. Scholarship programs encourage youngsters to take up the fiddle, mandolin and other stringed instruments in order to continue the tradition.

Learn more about local history and culture at the area’s museums.

The “Those Who Served” War Museum in the Princeton Memorial Building contains an impressive collection of military artifacts from conflicts throughout U.S. history.

Coal mining’s impact on the region is preserved at the Eastern Regional Coal Archives. Located in the Craft Memorial Library in Bluefield, West Virginia, this research center contains photographs, equipment, documents and other mining artifacts.

The region’s coal legacy is also spotlighted at the Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine and Coal Heritage Museum in Pocahontas, Virginia. The coal mine is a Registered National Historic Landmark, and is the world’s oldest exhibition coal mine.

The Historic Crab Orchard Museum near Tazewell, Virginia features log cabins, living history demonstrations and an overnight pioneer camp for youngsters.

Art galleries, public libraries, movie theaters (including the Pipestem Drive-In Theatre) and artist and lecture series at the region’s colleges and universities add to the area’s cultural and entertainment lineup.

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