Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

May 24, 2013

Fun in the mountains

Activities abound in Bluefield


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— — There is something special about the long Memorial Day weekend here in the mountains. It’s a week we look forward to each year — a proud tradition that is rich in history. After all, many of us remember going to the carnival in Bluefield as a child. Now, we are taking our own children to the James H. Drew Carnival, and the many other exhibits on display at the midway at Lotito Park.

But in the midst of this great celebration, we also don’t forget the real meaning of Memorial Day. We pause to remember those who we have lost — our own family members who have long passed on and those brave men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

And, of course, the long-holiday weekend also marks the unofficial start of summer in the two Bluefields. Today, we continue this proud tradition.

The Cole Chevy Mountain Festival kicks into high gear this afternoon with a full slate of activities, games, music and more. We encourage all residents across the region and beyond to come out and join us as we celebrate this proud tradition.

The festival activities get underway today at noon with the kick-off of the 25th season of the downtown Chicory Square Concert series. Sponsored by the Daily Telegraph, the weekly Chicory Square Concert Series has been bringing a diverse array of musical entertainment to Chicory Square for almost a quarter of a century. This year’s concert series will be opened by the sixth- and seventh-grade band students at Bluefield Middle School. The middle school band is substituting this week for the Bluefield High School Marching Band, which is in Disney World today. The middle school band will have approximately 100 students performing, so it should be a great show for the square.

The popular Eudoro Farms, which features 60 exotic animals, will also be opening today beginning at noon in the grassy area at Lotito Park. The James H. Crew Carnival — the centerpiece of the Cole Chevy Mountain Festival — opens today at 4 p.m. along with all of the concession and food vendors at the midway. But that’s not all. The Marvelous Mutts will be performing today in the grassy area at the park at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. And a Beach Party Night with the Fantastic Shakers, sponsored by the Bluefield Area Shag Society, gets underway at 8 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m.

Festival attendees can also expect a full schedule of activities both Saturday and Sunday. Additional events throughout the weekend will include Magic by Chaz, a festival double-bowling tournament, rides all weekend by the popular Ridge Runner train, a peak gymnastic training/cheers express performance, more shows by the Marvelous Mutts, a free eye screening by the Bluefield Lions Club, a bench press competition, the Fourth Annual Memorial Day Classic car show, appearances by Rock-It The Robot and much more.

We would encourage everyone — both local residents and out-of-town visitors — to experience the fun this weekend. In fact, we can’t think of a better place to spend the Memorial Day holiday than right here in the two Bluefields.

There is no reason for anyone to leave town this weekend. There is plenty to do right here in our own backyard. Save money. Save gas. Enjoy four fun-filled days in the mountains of southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia. It’s a tradition worth celebrating.