Mary Draper Ingles Festival returns to Radford

Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 2:50 PM EDT
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RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - July 28-30 is all about the life and legacy of Mary Draper Ingles in Radford.

“Several years ago, the General Assembly established the last Saturday of July as the Mary Draper Engels Remembrance Day, and so we hope to host the festival to keep that memory alive,” said Scott Gardner, Executive Director of the Glencoe Mansion, Museum and Gallery.

He says Ingles’ story is important to the history of southwest Virginia.

“We call her the frontier heroine of our area; she was abducted by Shawnee Native Americans. and she made her escape back to to this area,” Gardner said.

This year’s celebration is remembering Ingles, but also many other people who played a role in this area’s history.

“We really want to not only honor the story of Mary Draper Ingalls, but all the individuals who would have played a part in the development of this area, so we want to talk about the the Native Americans here, the African Americans, just get in all those groups that that don’t get mentioned a lot in histories,” Gardner said.

The weekend’s festivities usually bring in a few thousand people to the city. This year a few of Ingles’ descendants made the trip from as far as Louisiana and Texas.

“I definitely wanted to see the statue because we’ve heard a lot about it and that was definitely one of my main goals, so to see that and just to be around,” Ingles descendant Cheryl Roeder said.

To view the schedule of events, click here.