Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV


August 22, 2013

Downtown pride: City volunteers applauded

Volunteers working to help spruce up the downtown areas of Bluefield and Princeton are to be applauded for their ongoing efforts and creativity.

In Bluefield, members of the Bluefield Preservation Society are moving forward with an ambitious plan to develop a “Depot District” for the Commerce Street section of the downtown. And they are also busy promoting the city’s first Lemonade Festival that will be held on Aug. 31.

The hope is that many of the thousands who attend the big Beaver-Graham game on Aug. 30 at Mitchell Stadium will join the downtown celebration the following day. The  Bluefield Preservation Society’s Lemonade Festival Committee has planned several activities, attractions and events for the day-long festival, including a farmers market, a flea market, food court, arts and crafts, vendors, an antique car show, a parade and other events.

A LemonMADE Cook-Off sponsored by Grants Supermarkets will also be held during the festival with a grand prize of a $500 gift card from Grants Supermarkets to be awarded to the overall cook-off winner. The four cook-off categories include appetizer, entrée, dessert and beverage. Another festival highlight will be a performance by the band Blue Highway at the old the old Granada Theater. The concert is being sponsored by Bill Cole Auto Mall, Cole Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac and Cole Harley-Davidson. Tickets will be available for purchase at New Graham Pharmacy, Bill Cole Auto Mall, Cole Harley-Davidson and Grants in Richlands, Va., Tazewell, Va., Bluefield and Princeton.

We join members of the  Bluefield Preservation Society in urging area residents to participate in the upcoming Lemonade Festival.

In the city of Princeton, buildings across Mercer Street are being turned into canvases by a team of volunteers and artists. It’s all a part of the ongoing Princeton Renaissance Project, a welcomed campaign aimed at breathing new life into the downtown Mercer Street area.

Lori McKinney, an organizer with the local project, says several buildings on Mercer Street will be getting artistic makeovers as part of the Princeton Renaissance Project. And several volunteers are reviving old store advertisements painted on the historic buildings on Mercer Street.

Additionally, McKinney said three professional mural projects will soon be underway throughout the downtown. “The professional mural project is sponsored by the Community Improvement Commission, the city of Princeton, the RiffRaff Arts Collective and Community Connections,” McKinney said. “It has been a cooperative process that has taken a year to organize. The first strokes of paint are ready to grace three large walls in downtown Princeton and other walls are in the works.”

The first wall will depict the Princeton Senior High School marching band and other events that regularly take place in Dick Copeland Square in the downtown, according to McKinney.

Some of the works may be complete by the Autumnfest celebration on Sept. 28 while others may still be in process when the fall celebration begins. That will allow Autumnfest attendees to watch some of the artists at work.

Anyone interested in the mural projects, or wishing to apply for the Artists’ Alley project, can call 304-425-6425 for more information.

It’s great to see so many dedicated volunteers who are working to better the downtowns of Bluefield and Princeton. We join the two cities in applauding these volunteers for their commitment, and all of their hard work. They are slowly but surely making a difference in both Bluefield and Princeton.


Text Only

Do you agree with the plans by Republicans to sue President Barack Obama over allegedly failing to carry out the new health care law? After voting, go to to comment.

     View Results
Letters to the Editor