‘Off Grid Living, Survive & Thrive Expo’ coming to West Virginia State Fairgrounds in 2025

By Matthew Young, RealWV

FAIRLEA, W.Va. – An all new event is coming to the West Virginia State Fairgrounds next year, and it is unlike anything the Mountain State has seen before. 

Scheduled for October 3 through 5, 2025, the West Virginia Off Grid Living, Survive & Thrive Expo will showcase experts, products, and equipment, while educating attendees on the skills necessary to survive “off the grid.”

“This expo will feature anything you can imagine dealing with off-grid living,” event organizer Todd Longanare told RealWV Thursday. “Homesteading, making your own clothes, making your own soap, and growing your own food.”

In addition, Longancare said that there will be seminars on water purification, food preservation, canning, pressure cooking, flint knapping, overlanding, and “modern and primitive bushcraft skills.”

“My vision is for West Virginia to own this festival,” Longanacre noted. “I want it to be a one-of-a-kind West Virginia thing. It’s Appalachian culture through and through – it’s the ‘lost ways.’”

“It’s the things that our great-grandparents did here in Appalachia 150-years-ago out of necessity,” Longanacre added. “But it’s not just the old stuff. It’s modern tactical gear, modern weather bunkers – things of that nature.”

The event will encompass three buildings at the West Virginia State Fairgrounds, but may expand into more areas depending upon vendor participation. The West Virginia Lottery Building will be utilized for speaking presentations.

“We’ve got EJ Snyder coming from the show ‘Naked and Afraid,’” Longanacre said. “We’re going to have some celebrities. People can get their pictures taken, and ask them some questions about their experiences.”

Additional speakers will include “The Combat Midwife” Jessica Arno, social media influencer Jake Trent, primitive survival expert “The Major,” and living history reenactor Lt. Col. (Ret.) Scott Womack, Ph.D.

The vendor reservation period is now open for the Off Grid Living, Survive & Thrive Expo. Those interested in securing a space can visit wvoffgridexpo.com, and scroll down to view package descriptions. Spaces are available in sizes up to 10 feet by 30 feet. Tickets for the event are also now available for purchase on the website. Ticket prices start at $12 for adults. 

“We’re hoping that a lot of local vendors are able to showcase their West Virginia-made products,” Longanacre said. “My long-term vision for this is for it to gradually transition from just being an expo, to eventually becoming a full festival.”

“We want to celebrate Appalachian culture, and the old ways of our ancestors in these mountains,” Longanacre added. “We want to teach the skills necessary for off-grid living, and focus on modern survival.” 

For more information about the West Virginia Off Grid Living, Survive & Thrive Expo, visit wvoffgridexpo.com

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