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All Hail the Ramp

Submitted by on April 6, 2015 – 8:49 amNo Comment

westvirginia_richwood_rampThe Feast of the Ramson in Richwood, West Virginia, has been described as “the granddaddy of ALL Appalachian Ramp Feeds.”

This year’s fest and feast will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 18, 2015, in the Richwood High School.

Legend has it that the first public ramp feed was derived from a private meal, attended by 13 ramp lovers. At this small gathering, the men decided to “go public” the following year.

There was much hoopla connected to that initial feed. Only men were invited and each male had to present a letter of permission to attend, submitted by his “next of kin,” that absolved the newly formed “National Ramp Society” of liability.

Off to CCC Camp Cranberry they went to hear orations and tall tales. True mountain food was cooked over an open campfire. There was wild game of every variety and side dishes of homegrown vegetables. It was reported moonshine was the drink of choice.

Ramps and the Ramps Festival have been such an integral part of Richwood’s history so much so that one year, former Newsman Jim Comstock actually infused the ink used to print the NewsLeader with the smell of Ramps. The smell was so strong that the local Post Office asked him to refrain from doing so next year.

It is this grass roots initiative of 1937 that the organizers of the current day “Feast of the Ramson” point to with pride. The modern day event has added heritage crafts and mountain-style music, but the star of the show has, and always will remain, that delicious mountain delicacy with a mystique all its own: the ramp.

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