OddFest celebrates all that is quirky in Berkeley County
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Some people spend time and energy trying to meet a social standard and to fit in.
Many residents of Martinsburg will have none of that. The city is quirky and that is a reason to celebrate, they say.
The Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau called on Berkeley County businesses to bring attention to all things “weird, wild and wonderful” beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 8, and ending at 5 p.m. Sunday, July 9, for OddFest. The event takes place across the county.
Orr’s Farm Market answered that call, along with more than 15 others, by offering hayrides to view its baby bison. Katy Orr-Dove, the farm market’s retail manager, said a “weird, quirky thing about our farm” is its business of raising bison and selling bison meat.
“The timing seemed right because we have babies being born in the spring. People are really interested in coming out to see (the bison) more up close and personal than from outside the fence,” she said.
The third-generation farm, which began in 1954, opened a market in 1993 and has shifted its focus toward agri-tourism, Orr-Dove said. Events at the farm and market each year include live music performances, pumpkin patch activities and festival or two, she said.
“My grandfather (George Silvers Orr Jr.) started the farm and handed it down to his three sons,” Orr-Dove said. “Then they had nine daughters. My cousins and I all grew up helping out here on the farm every summer and on snow days.”
Orr-Dove left the farm and worked as a teacher for five years before returning to it.
“In the back of my mind, I think I knew I would come back here,” she said.
Orr’s Farm Market is “rather unusual” due to its business with bison, Orr-Dove said. It’s one of five or six such farms that she knows of in the region.
“My dad (Mark Orr) always wanted bison. He was always interested in the business and decided to get them. He found that it does bring people from quite a distance to see the bison,” she said.
Bison meat, she said, is “very lean and definitely a specialty item. You can’t get it everywhere.”
During OddFest, the market will be selling frozen burgers and steaks from its farm-raised bison.
Festival attendees can visit the farm and market and purchase a wristband, which will serve as admission to a hayride through the farm’s orchards and the animals’ roaming areas.
The farm also offers pick-your-own berries. The market will be open and a food truck will be on hand for OddFest.
“We have 1,100 acres, around 450 peaches, 450 apples, and then a large assortment of fruits and vegetables on the remaining acreage, things like blueberries and black raspberries,” Orr-Dove said.
In addition to seeing bison calf, there is a chance that visitors to the farm at OddFest will catch a glimpse of the farm’s goats, emus, alpacas or its llama.
At press time, the farm had three baby bison but was awaiting the birth of several more babies.
“We normally have about five per season,” Orr-Dove said. “We have like an alley way that goes between animal fences. There is a fence between you and the animals. In the fall when we have hay rides, they come running over to us when they hear the tractors. We threw apples over the fence to them. They will be up close and personal but people won’t be going in with them.”
Other businesses participating in OddFest include Black Draft Distillery, Martinsburg Roundhouse, General Adam Stephen House and tunnels, and Wonderment Puppet Theater.
“I definitely think it’s a good way to bring people to the town of Martinsburg because there are a lot of really quirky things around our area,” Orr-Dove said. “This is a good way to get tourists to visit.”
She did not anticipate the large number of people who would visit the farm as part of OddFest last year, which was earlier in the season than this year.
“It really brought in a crowd. I was really surprised because last year, I think they did it in April and we were really not that busy in April,” she said. “It was a very noticeable crowd that came just for OddFest. We had several wagons running all day to keep up with it. This year, we are already busy with pick-your-own berries, so we are making sure we have plenty of wagons ready to roll.”
Orr-Dove hopes the farm market will be one of many stops for OddFest visitors.
“They can make a visit to our farm for part of the weekend and visit several different stops and featured attractions. There are a lot of neat things in town to do while they are here,” she said. “But I would carve out a couple of hours in your day to come pick berries, have a hayride and get the whole experience.”
If you go ...WHAT: OddFestWHEN: 10 a.m. Saturday, July 8, through Sunday, July 9WHERE: Various locations throughout Berkeley County, W.Va.CONTACT: Contact businesses individually or go to www.oddfestwv.com.
• Feed the bison at Orr’s Farm Market, 682 Orr Drive, Martinsburg, W.Va.
• Wine tastings for those 21 and older at Cider Press Deli & Grill, 178 Pilgrim St., Inwood, W.Va.
• Tours of Gen. Adam Stephen House, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 309 E. John St., Martinsburg, W.Va.
• Martinsburg Roundhouse Center, 100 E. Liberty St., Martinsburg, W.Va.
• Historic and haunting walk of old town Martinsburg. Costs $12 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 304-261-7470. The meeting place will be given at the time of registration. It’s recommended for ages 12 and older.
• “Cinderella,” 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Wonderment Puppet Theater, 412 W. King St. Martinsburg,; $6 per person, free for those younger than 2; Call 304-260-9382.
• For the Kids, by George, 229 E Martin St, downtown Martinsburg, W.Va.; $6; for tickets, go to http://forthekidsbygeorge.org/
• “Rocky Horror Picture Show” 11:58 p.m. Saturday with shadow cast, Apollo Civic Theatre, 128 E. Martin St., downtown Martinsburg, W.Va. , $15. Go to www.apollocivictheatre.org to purchase tickets.
• Saturday only — Moonshine and Bourbon tastings for those 21 and older at Black Draft Distillery, 1140 Kelly Island Road, Martinsburg, W.Va.
• Drinks at Al Capone’s Bar at Boyd’s Steakhouse, 109 N. Queen St., downtown Martinsburg, W.Va.
• Eat a cupcake at Latte da Cupcakery, 202 S. Queen St., downtown Martinsburg, W.Va.
• Plant Walk, 10 a.m. Saturday only, North American Bushcraft School, 1435 Providence Church Road, Hedgesville, W.Va.,
• Touch of Grace Salt Cave, 970 Foxcroft Ave., Suite 104, Martinsburg, W.Va. Call 304-263-3070
• Golden facials at Sleepy Creek Spa, The Woods, Mountain Lake Road, Hedgesville. Cost is $120. For appointments, call 304-745-7977, ext. 3118, or email email@example.com
• Art exhibit at Boomtown Tattoo, 305 W. King St., Martinsburg, W.Va. Opens at noon Saturday. Go to http://boomtowntattoo.com/Boomtown_Tattoo/Studio.html
• Hiking at Devil’s Trail; enter Maverick Trail, Hedgesville in your GPS.
• Geocaching along the Berkeley County Trail