MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The WVU Core Arboretum held its “West Virginia Pawpaw Festival” between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sept. 24.

When at the festival, goers got to try seven different kinds of pawpaws. They could also buy them, and learn how to plant the seeds to get their own pawpaw trees.

The festival is held around the same time every year, usually in late September when the pawpaws are falling off of trees and ready to eat. Festival vendors come into town from as far away as six hours to bring pawpaw-like produce, and of course, their pawpaw delicacies. They also had music that started at 3 p.m. Educational talks were had about pawpaws and their Native American history.

Bennett Phillips, WVU Core Arboretum Employee, mentioned that a pawpaw is a small fruit that looks similar to a mango and tastes like a blend of mango, banana, berries, and pineapple. He said it is very tropical for our location.

Phillips is a Grad service assistant for the biology department at WVU. He discussed why it is important to have these events and how it made him feel. He said, “it’s about getting the public engaged in nature, and anything that tastes good is a pretty easy way to get people to come out and enjoy nature. Something I really really enjoy. I’m working on my master’s thesis alongside, uh, working here at the arboretum. So, I’m getting a lot done, and I’m really enjoying my time here. Uh, pawpaw’s are delicious, and getting to have some to take home to make some pawpaw bread is real nice.”

Before the festival, the arboretum would host “pawpaw parties” on Thursdays to lead up to the day of the festival.