KINGWOOD, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Buckwheat Festival kicks off in Preston County this week, with activities starting as early as Tuesday.

The festival is scheduled for Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 and will feature everything from carnivals to a craft beer festival to, of course, buckwheat pancakes.

What are buckwheat cakes?

Buckwheat cakes are a West Virginia staple made from a locally farmed grain—buckwheat. Buckwheat is a grain, similar to quinoa, that farmers in Preston County began growing during the Great Depression. It is ground into flour to make buckwheat cakes. The cakes look like darker brown pancakes, and they are less sweet than usual pancakes with a more earthy flavor and served with syrup.

The schedule for the Buckwheat Festival this year is as follows, according to the festival’s website.

Wednesday, Sept. 28

  • 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Market Swine weigh-in and picture taking
  • 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. – All remaining livestock arrive
  • 8 a.m. – Sheep Showmanship followed by Market Lamb Show
  • 1 p.m. – Goat Showmanship followed by Market Lamb Show
  • ​1 p.m. – 2 p.m. – Feeder Calf & Prospect Market Steer weigh-in
  • 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Buckwheat Cakes and Sausage Dinners
  • 6 p.m. – Carnival Opens
  • 6 p.m. – Buckwheat Cake Eating Contest
  • 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. – BINGO
  • 6:30 p.m. – Judging of Market Steer

Thursday, Sept. 29

  • 8 a.m. – Swine Showmanship followed by Market Swine Show
  • 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. – Buckwheat Cakes and Sausage Dinners
  • 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Arts & Crafts Open
  • 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Exhibit Buildings Open
  • 12 p.m. – Carnival Opens
  • 12 p.m. – Geocache Contest Begins
  • 4 p.m. – Judging of Feeder Calves and Prospect Market Steer
  • 5:30 p.m. – Purebred Sheep Show followed by Breeding Goat Show
  • 8:30 p.m. – 10:00 pm – BINGO (closed during parade)
  • 7:30 p.m. – Firemen’s Parade
  • 9:30 p.m. – Fireman Day Trophy Presentation (closed to the public)

Friday, Sept. 30

  • 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Buckwheat Cakes and Sausage Dinners
  • 8 a.m. – Ladies and Shepherds Lead
  • 9 a.m. – Royalty Breakfast (By Invitation Only)
  • 9:30 a.m. – Judging of Purebred/Cross-Bred Beef/Dairy Cattle
  • 10 a.m. – 9:00 pm – Arts & Crafts Open
  • 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. – Exhibit Buildings Open
  • 10 a.m. – Carnival Open
  • 12 p.m. – Coronation of Queen Ceres and King Buckwheat (Craig Civic Center)
  • 2 p.m. – School Day Parade
  • 3:30 p.m. – Lamb Dressing Contest (Cow Palace)
  • 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. – BINGO
  • 6 p.m. – Beef Showmanship followed by Supreme Champion Showman
  • 6 p.m. – 1 Hour Flash Bash (Craig Civic Center)
  • 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Craft Beer Festival (Community Bldg. – Mill Room)
  • 10 p.m. – Fireworks (rain date Saturday)

Saturday, Oct. 1

  • 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Ag Olympics (Cow Palace)
  • 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Buckwheat Cake and Sausage Dinners
  • 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. – Arts & Crafts Open
  • 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. – Exhibit Buildings Open
  • 10 p.m. – Carnival Opens
  • 12 p.m. – Geocache Contest Ends
  • 2 p.m. – Buckwheat Mile
  • 12 p.m. – Farmer’s Day Parade
  • 2 p.m. – WVU Marching Band Field Show (approximate time)
  • 2 p.m. – Youth Livestock Award Ceremony
  • 4 p.m. – Youth Livestock Sale (Cow Palace)
  • 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. – BINGO
  • 6 p.m. – Big Bucks Bingo – Craig Civic Center – Doors open at 4:30 pm

Sunday, Oct. 2

  • 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Buckwheat Cake and Sausage Dinners
  • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Church break
  • 10 a.m. – 1 a.m. – Car Show Registration (Civic Center)
  • 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Car Show Open for Viewing (Civic Center Parking Lot)
  • 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Arts & Crafts Open
  • 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Exhibit Buildings Open
  • 12 p.m. – Carnival Open
  • 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. – BINGO
  • 1 p.m. – Irish Road Bowling Registration – Begins at 1:00 – Pleasantdale Road
  • 4 p.m. – Drawings for $10,000 and Commemorative Rifle

Click here for more information about the festival, and click here to enter the buckwheat cake eating contest. Some county buildings and services, including the Preston County Courthouse and Annex which holds the Tax Office, County Clerk, Assessor and Health Department, will be closed on Friday, Sept. 30 so that workers can enjoy the festival.