Elkhorn City Night Market 2017

After much anticipation and great demand, Artists Collaborative Theatre (ACT) is excited to invite its neighbors to come shop beneath the setting sun on August 4th from 6-10 pm at the 2017 Elkhorn City Night Market! This summer’s Night Market expects to be bigger and better than ever, which is saying something after the great success of last year’s market which brought a crowed of over a thousand to the small town of Elkhorn City. All market proceeds from booth registration fees go directly to support ACT, a 501c3 non-profit organization working to support the arts in Appalachia.

Samantha West, ACT Artistic Director and Night Market project manager, says everywhere she has gone this past year people have asked her when the next Night Market would be. “If the constant buzz, questions, and requests over the last year are any indication, August 4th is going to be an incredible market! It’s become an absolutely magical night that family, friends, and individuals can all come together to enjoy and have some good summer fun.”

A night of summer fun is certainly a goal, but ACT decided to bring a night market to Elkhorn City for more than just festival food and shopping sprees. West explains, “For the last 15 years, ACT has actively pursued ways to showcase and serve Appalachian artists. Last year, we had the idea to create a night when the entire community could come together and celebrate our unique culture, talent, and roots. The Elkhorn City Night Market was born!”

Taking notes from other nearby cities, Elkhorn City decided to host an open-air market to create a tourism and economic booster for the area with the intention of bringing in and keeping dollars in Pike County. Last summer, visitors to the Elkhorn City Night Market casually shared stories of staying in nearby hotels, eating at local restaurants, and visiting other local attractions. Also, of course, the market’s vendors reported sizeable profits from their sells. The Elkhorn City Night Market also places a heavy emphasis on recruiting handmade and locally produced items and local small businesses as the majority of its vendors as an additional way to support Pike County’s entrepreneurs and the talented people of the region.

Vendors expected to line the streets on August 4th include many returning favorites, such as those selling handmade and unique jewelry, woodworking crafts, home décor, restored furniture, original pieces of artwork, customizable embroidery items, an array of locally-themed apparel, homemade soaps and lotions, fresh picked fruits and vegetables, refreshing shaved ice, several food trucks offering a variety of mouth-watering foods, and much more. The market also plans to have a variety of brand name vendors too, such as Lula Roe clothing, Pink Zebra scented wax melts, and Plunder jewelry.

The Elkhorn City Night Market will also feature a full evening of live music and entertainment. Several well-known local musical acts will be in attendance, featuring sounds across several genres. Market-goers can expect to hear bluegrass, indie, folk, rock, and more.

“I never could have imagined the immediate success the Elkhorn City Night Market had, and all of that is credited to our amazing ACT volunteers, the Fine Arts program at the Pike County Cooperative Extension Service, Elkhorn City officials, and, of course, our top-of-the-line, amazing vendors!,” West explained.

Those interested in setting up as a vendor or performing on stage should contact Samantha West at artistscollaborativetheatre@gmail.com or send a message to the Artists Collaborative Theatre, Inc. Facebook page at facebook.com/ACTheatre1. More information and vendor applications may be found online at pike.ca.uky.edu/NightMarket or may be picked up in person at the Pike County Extension Service located at 148 Trivette Dr. in Pikeville, KY. Applications sent after July 31st will require an additional $5 late fee.

Elkhorn City Night Market Gallery

Blood Song: The Story of the Hatfields and the McCoys Returns August 4

Photo by Moments of the Heart Photography

The official state play of Kentucky for the Hatfield and McCoy feud, Blood Song: The Story of the Hatfields and the McCoys, returns to the stage on August 4 and runs through August 26, right in the heart of where the two families waged war. The play is written by Chelsea Marcantel and produced by the Hatfield & McCoy Arts Council, in cooperation with the University of Kentucky Pike County Extension Fine Arts Program and Artists Collaborative Theatre.

The play takes you on a journey through the entire struggle between the two families; from Asa Harmon McCoy’s murder during the Civil War, until the last event of the feud: the hanging death of Ellison “Cotton Top” Mounts in 1890. Taking a road never travelled when retelling the events of the feud, the story is not told through the eyes of the two patriarchs, Ran’l McCoy and Devil Anse Hatfield. Instead, some of the lesser known participants of the feud narrate the scenes and retell the events of the feud in their own words. For the first time, an audience can see how two clans fought to preserve family, and not the sensationalism on which the media of the time was focused.

Surrounded by the mountains and the mighty Tug River where the feud actually happened, the stage sits within viewing distance of the site where one of the most tragic events of the feud took place: the paw-paw tree incident of 1882. It was there that Devil Anse Hatfield executed three of Ran’l and Sally McCoy’s children along the banks of the Tug River for the murder of his brother, Ellison Hatfield. If you travel to see the play through Kentucky, you will pass the site where the McCoy homeplace was burned to the ground on New Year’s Eve of 1887 on a raid led by Jim Vance and Cap Hatfield, the cabin of “Preacher Anse” Anderson Hatfield where the infamous Hog Trial between Ran’l McCoy and Floyd Hatfield took place, as well as the election grounds where the love affair of Johnse Hatfield and Roseanna McCoy started. If you travel through West Virginia, you are within minutes of several of the Hatfield’s homeplaces and the Matewan schoolhouse where the three McCoys were kept while awaiting the fate of Ellison Hatfield.

Not only is the stage surrounded with the tradition of both families, but the cast is as well. Comprised completely of local talent, several of the cast members are related to either the Hatfields, the McCoys, or both! This is proof that while the nation has once again taken an interest in a feud between two Appalachian families, the hatchet between the Hatfields and the McCoys was buried long ago.

The play is produced in association with Artists Collaborative Theatre in Elkhorn City. ACT started out producing outdoor dramas such as The Kentucky Cycle (2002), Always…Patsy Cline, and Quilters, before moving into its black box theatre home. ACT’s Executive Director, Stephanie Richards, attributes the success of the work to all of the people working together for the same quality outcome. “We have an amazing playwright that embraced the story, learned the details, and worked to tell the human story of the feud with an ending of hope for all of our mountain people. We have local talent dedicated to telling the story simply, honestly, and truthfully onstage. With our local talent, there are no bad acting tricks that have to be broken down. It is natural for our company to just tell the story and we know how to do that! It comes from our heritage of oral history, our storytelling of life through our generations. I have worked many places and know the blessings we have in our local actors. Directors would love to have this raw talent, professional work ethic, and team atmosphere to create. If you haven’t yet seen how our local talent shines, please make plans to see this one, you will be amazed!”

Blood Song: The Story of the Hatfields and the McCoys takes place at the Hatfield-McCoy Outdoor Theatre in McCarr, Ky. Shows run each Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm through the month of August. Tickets are $10 each. For more information about the play, including directions to the venue, please call the Pike County Extension Office at (606) 432-2534 or visit facebook.com/HMartscouncil.