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State’s best “liars” named at 29th Vandalia Gathering

West Virginia’s best storytellers competed today for prizes in the Liars Contest during the 29th annual Vandalia Gathering with the GOLDENSEAL magazine Golden Shovel award going to the best tall tale. The winners were:

Biggest Liar (first place): Justin Wood, Charleston
Bigger Liar (second place): Adam Booth, Huntington
Big Liar (third place): Rich Knoblich, Wheeling

The Liars Contest regularly draws standing room-only crowds. GOLDENSEAL, West Virginia’s magazine of traditional life, hosts the event and publishes the winning stories each year.

The lies must be short stories—humorous, dramatic, supernatural, etc.—of two to three minutes in length. Ribbons and cash prizes are awarded, along with an official Golden Shovel “trophy” for the first place winner.

The annual Vandalia Gathering is a FREE celebration of the traditional arts, music, dance, stories, crafts and foods of West Virginia. The Cultural Center and State Capitol Complex grounds plays host to this expanding family-style gathering each year on Memorial Day weekend. The unique blending of ethnic and cultural heritage combines an atmosphere as comfortable as a family reunion with the excitement of a state fair.

The statewide folk festival, named for the proposed 14th colony, creates new memories for the thousands of visitors who flock from across the Mountain State and the entire country to celebrate traditions passed from generation to generation. In addition to offering a sampling of West Virginia’s traditional mountain culture by showcasing craftspeople and performers, the Vandalia Gathering pays tribute to the state’s ethnic heritage through a variety of exhibitions and programs.

Vandalia Gathering is a program of the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History. For more information call Ginny Painter at (304) 558-0220, ext. 120. Visit the Division’s web site at for more information about the programs of the Division.

The Department of Arts, Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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