Ramp Dinners & Festivals

A table full of fresh West Virginia ramps (Allium tricoccum) is ready for cooking. Photo courtesy Julie Ratliff.

After a long mountain winter, settlers in West Virginia hungrily welcomed the appearance of the wild leek or “ramp,” one of the first edible plants to ripen in the forest in spring. The ramp became the focus for a tradition of communal feasts, a ritual that lingers today in rural Appalachia.

David Vincent enjoys a ramp dinner at the Richwood Ramp Festival.

Dozens of public ramp dinners and all-out festivals are hosted throughout the state in April and May. Many are small affairs that welcome fewer than a hundred guests though some feed as more than 1,000 in the course of an afternoon.

Fare ranges from traditional recipes that include ramps fried in bacon grease and served with ham and fried potatoes to gourmet and artisan experiments. The dinner at Old St. John’s Church at Colliers will include ramp hot dogs, ramp tortellini soup, and ramp sausage sandwiches, and the Ramps-to-Rails Festival in Elkins is advertising ramp chili, ramp burgers, ramperoni rolls, and ramp risotto with shrimp. Most dinners also offer ramp-free alternatives.

Many ramp dinners also offer fresh ramps to take home, and untold hundreds of harvesters set-up roadside stands to supplement their income.

2018 schedule of ramp dinners and festivals!


Buckhannon Eagles Dinner
April 7 (Saturday)
Buckhannon, West Virginia
Upshur County

The annual all-you-can-eat ramp dinner at the Buckhannon Eagles Club 4357 will be held at the club on WV-20 from noon until the food runs out. A charge of $15 per person applies. The menu will include raw, cooked, and deep-fried ramps as well as ham, cornbread, applesauce, pickled eggs, white and brown beans, and fried potatoes with and without ramps. For more information, call 304-472-4858.

Valley Head Ramp Dinner
April 14 (Saturday)
Valley Head, West Virginia
Randolph County

The second annual ramp dinner at the Calvary Assembly of God-in-Family Outreach Center at Valley Head will include ham, beans, biscuits, cornbread, fried potatoes, cooked and raw ramps, and dessert. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages two- to five-years old. For more information, contact the center at 304-339-2772.

Upshur County Library Ramp Dinner
April 20 (Friday)
Buckhannon, West Virginia
Upshur County

Catered by the 88 Restaurant, the annual ramp dinner will be at the library on W.Va. 20 from 5 until 8 p.m. Dinner will include stir-fried ramps, ramp chowder, ramp quiche, and a mixed green salad with a bacon and ramp vinaigrette dressing. Tavern ham, roasted red potatoes, cornbread, dinner rolls, apple dumplings, and a peach-blueberry cobbler will be served for those who are not ramp lovers Tickets are $20 a person. All proceeds benefit the Upshur County Public Library. Advanced reservations are accepted through April 17 and are strongly encouraged . Call 304-473-4219, extension 14, for more information.

Leivasy Ramp Dinner
April 21 (Saturday)
Leivasy, West Virginia
Nicholas County

From noon to 5 p.m., the annual ramp dinner at the Leivasy community building on W.Va. 20 includes standard ramp feast fare including fried ramps. Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children younger than twelve. Infants are admitted free of charge. All proceeds go to upkeep and improvements to the community building.

New Life Church Ramp Dinner
April 21 (Saturday)
Beverly, West Virginia
Randolph County

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the annual all-you-can-eat ramp dinner at the New Life Church in Beverly will feature ham, raw and cooked ramps, potatoes with and without ramps, brown and white beans, and dessert and drinks. Call 304-338-2087 for more information.

Pickens Ramp Dinner
April 21 (Saturday)
Pickens, West Virginia
Randolph County

From 2 to 6 p.m., the annual Pickens Ramp Dinner will feature ham, brown beans, ramps, cole slaw, cornbread, fried potatoes, applesauce, and dessert. Sponsored by Pickens Post 122 of the American Legion, admission is $15 for adults and $5 for children younger than 12. Call 304-924-5813 for more information.

Stinkfest
April 21 (Saturday)
Huntington, West Virginia
Cabell County

From 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., the Wild Ramp at 555 W. 14th St. in Old Central City will host the fourth annual Stinkfest. The event is free and open to the public. Food vendors will provide ramp dish specialties, and music, arts, and activities for the kids. For more information, call 304-523-7267 or visit the Wild Ramp .

Faith Gospel Ramp Dinner
April 21 (Saturday)
Parkersburg, West Virginia
Wood County

From 2 to 5 p.m., the all-you-can-eat menu includes ham, fried ramps, fried potatoes, fried potatoes with ramps, ramp salad, soup beans, corn bread and dessert. Admission is $12 per adult and $6 per child 11 and younger. For more information, call 304-481-3867 or visit their .

Feast of the Ramson
April 21 (Saturday)
Richwood, West Virginia
Nicholas County

In its 80th year, the 10 a.m.-to-4 p.m. festival at Cherry River Elementary School includes crafts, live music, a ramp recipe contest, and a 10:30 a.m.-to-4 p.m. dinner. A charge of $15 per adult guest and $7 per child applies, though advance tickets are available the April 10 at $13 per adult and $6 per child younger than 12 years old. For more information, call 304-846-6790 or visit the .

Bruceton Mills Ramp Dinner
April 28 (Saturday)
Bruceton Mills, West Virginia
Preston County

At the Bruceton Mills-Brandonville VFW Building, Post 2523 and its auxiliary will host their annual ramp dinner including stewed ramps, fried potatoes with and without ramps, beans with ham, cornbread, applesauce, coleslaw, rolls, coffee, tea, and cake. Donations of $8 for adults and $4 for children are being accepted. Take-out dinners are available. A Veterans Administration representative will also be on hand to discuss claims and benefits.

Camp Caesar Ramp Dinner
April 28 (Saturday)
Cowen, West Virginia
Webster County

At the dining hall at Camp Caesar, off WV-20 north of Cowen, at Upper Glade, the 11 a.m.-to-4 p.m. dinner will include ramps, ham, eggs, bacon, cornbread, brown beans, fried potatoes, and dessert. Take-out orders are available. The cost is $15 for one person and $25 for two. Table service is provided. For more information, call 304-226-3888 or visit the camp .

Camp Creek Ramp Feast
April 28 (Saturday)
Camp Creek, West Virginia
Mercer County

A celebration of the timber industry and the ramp harvest, the 11 a.m.-to-3 p.m. ramp feast includes ramp casserole, brown beans, cornbread, coleslaw, nachos, and dessert at . A $12 dinner admission will raise funds for the Camp Creek State Park & Forest Foundation. Other weekend events include a 8-10 a.m. birding and wildflower walk, and wood-cutting competitions from 11-12:30 p.m. and 1:30-3 p.m. For more information, call 304-425-9481.

 

Helvetia Ramp Dinner
April 28 (Saturday)
Helvetia, West Virginia
Randolph County

In the Helvetia Historic District, the 2-to-6 p.m. dinner includes ramps, ham, fried potatoes, soup beans, coleslaw, applesauce, cornbread, and desserts and beverages. The dinner is sponsored by the Helvetia Farmwomen and Helvetia Hall Association. For more information, visit the Helvetia .

Ramp-&-Rails Festival
April 28 (Saturday)
Elkins, West Virginia
Randolph County

Next to the Elkins Depot, the free 10 a.m-to-5 p.m. festival includes crafts, live entertainment, and a favorite ramp-dish contest. Vendors have designed delicious ramp-themed foods such as ramp chili, ramp burgers, ramperoni rolls, and ramp risotto with shrimp. For more information, call 304-635-7803 or visit the Elkins welcome center . The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad will run one-hour train rides in conjunction with the festival.

St. John’s Ramp Dinner
April 28 (Saturday)
Colliers, West Virginia
Brooke County

From noon until 5 p.m., dinner at Olde St. John’s Episcopal Church (c. 1793) will include ramps fried with bacon and potatoes, soup beans, cornbread, as well as ramp hot dogs, ramp tortellini soup, and ramp sausage sandwiches with fried ramps and a sweet onion marmalade. Fresh ramps will also be available for sale. Meals are $8 per guest.

Quick Community Ramp Dinner
April 28 (Saturday)
Quick, West Virginia
Kanawha County

At the dining hall at Camp Caesar, off WV-20 north of Cowen, at Upper Glade, the 11 a.m.-to-3 p.m. dinner will include ramps, ham, beans, cooked cabbage, fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, cornbread, and dessert. To-go orders are available at the event but will not be taken by phone. The cost is $12 for one person and $6 for children 12 and younger. The address for the festivities in 23 Lucy Lane, Clendenin, West Virginia, but the feast is located in the hear to of the village of Quick, six miles past Pinch-Quick intersection. For more information, call 304-965-2570 or 304-437-1768. (On the day of event call 304-965-9008.

Buffalo Volunteer Fire Department Dinner
April 29 (Sunday)
Buffalo, West Virginia
Putnam County

Dinner will include ham, ramps, pinto beans, fried potatoes, macaroni salad, dessert, and a drink. Price will be $10.00 for adults and $6.00 for children under 12. The Bandwagon will perform Bluegrass from noon until 3 p.m. For more information, call 304-549-2679 or 304-532-0246.

Mount Grove Ramp Dinner
May 6 (Sunday)
Eglon, West Virginia
Preston County

The annual all-you-can-eat ramp dinner at the Mount Grove Volunteer Fire Department will be held at the Bill Slaughbaugh Memorial Building on U.S. 219 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Dinner will include ham, cornbread, raw ramps, ramp salad, cooked ramps, white and brown beans, fried potatoes with and without ramps, dessert, and drinks. Take-out is available. Admission will be $10 per adult 12 and older, $5 per child age seven to eleven. Children six and younger are admitted free. Call 304-698-6444 for more information.

Mathias Community Ramp Dinner
May 19 (Saturday)
Mathias, West Virginia
Hardy County

Hosted at the Mathis Community Center, the 4-7 p.m. dinner includes traditional ramp-dinner fare. For more information, call 304-897-5219 or visit the Hardy County visitors center .


Photos of Ramps and Ramp Dinners

Visitors share their appreciation of ramps in our .


Do you know of West Virginia ramp feasts we need to include?

Please contact the offices of West Virginia Explorer at 304-575-7390 or use our to let us know of ramp feasts we’ve not included here.

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