West Virginia Black Walnut Festival has grown from a one day event to a four day gala celebration attracting thousands of visitors from across the United States. Following a tradition which has been molded through the years by hard-working citizens of Spencer, the county seat of Roane County, this year's Festival promises to provide a whirlwind of activities, offering something for everyone. The creation of one of this state's best attended festivals began in 1954 when Henry Young sold two million pounds of black walnuts. Young's sale of the local product gave a member of the Little Kanawha Regional Council the idea of developing the black walnuts into a cash crop for local farmers. The first Festival was held on November 5, 1955 with Albert Eno as chairman. But quickly, the group of hard working citizens organized the event, realizing that a one day celebration would not be enough. And so the Festival began to grow. One of the highlights of the first festival was the Walnut Bowl Football game featuring Spencer and St. Albans High Schools. The first parade, indeed a grand event, featured thirty entries and was enjoyed by an audience of over 15,000. Following that parade, the coronation of the first Black Walnut Festival Queen took place. Queen Lois Conley was crowned by Col. Ruby Bradley. Col. Bradley, a native of Roane County, was the most decorated woman in the United States Army. Jerry Colonna, well-known comedian and once side-kick of Bob Hope, was also featured at that first event. An air show hosted by the National Guard and a performance by the Ashland Jamboree rounded out the First Annual Black walnut Festival. But with the first festival hardly over, the committee began working toward next year's event. It was decided that the November date was too late in the season and risk of bad weather, and so the date was changer to the second weekend in October, coinciding with the Roane County Centennial Celebration. Each year more and more activities have been added. And each year the celebration has attracted larger and larger participants and audiences. A band and Majorette Competition, Kid's Day parade and Activities, Auto Show, Gospel Sing and long-distance Nut Run have also been added over the years.