Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 4, 2013

Food, fun, festivities: Another big weekend for the region

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— — The first weekend of October is shaping up to be another busy one for the region with several returning and popular events scheduled across the area. That means there should be plenty for residents to see and do.

First up is what organizers hope will become an annual event in McDowell County. The inaugural McDowell Expo — an event that is being modeled after the popular Better Living Show in Bluefield — gets underway this morning at 10 a.m. at the Welch National Guard Armory. It continues until 8 p.m. tonight, and will open again Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

More than 67 vendors will be on hand at the armory to showcase the best of McDowell County and the region. Door prizes will be awarded both days. A job fair also will be held at the armory both today and Saturday in conjunction with the expo, along with a 5K run and one-mile walk and kid’s run that will be held Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. near the armory.

Also on Saturday, the popular Southern West Virginia Italian-American Festival returns to Bluefield at the city auditorium on Stadium Drive. Saturday’s gathering will be the 19th annual Italian-American Festival in Bluefield.

Saturday’s festivities start at 10 a.m. and continue until 5 p.m. The festival is open to the public. In addition to more than 4,000 meatballs and over 100 gallons of sauce for the big buffet, a number of musical entertainers also will be on hand for the Italian-American Festival, including Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton and Waylon Jennings impersonators. Country singer Adam Tucker also is returning to this year’s show where he will perform some Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra songs. Jake Hill, a national blues champion pianist, also will perform at the festival. The gathering will feature 15 or more vendors offering jewelry, home cleaning products, purses, pictures, books, blankets and other items, including products from Italy.

Also Saturday is the popular Southern Thunder competition at Hunnicutt Stadium in Princeton. The program begins at 2 p.m. and this year’s theme is “Perfect Storm.” Bands from Princeton, Bluefield and PikeView High School will perform at the show. However, Princeton will perform an exhibition only.

Other bands who will be making their first appearance at the competition include Pulaski County High and Point Pleasant High who, along with Nelson County, will travel the farthest distance for the competition. The Southern Thunder competition is sponsored by the Princeton Senior High Marching Band and the band parent’s association.

It’s shaping up to be a great fall weekend for the region. And it won’t even feel like fall. A high of near 80 degrees is expected both today and Saturday. Please get out and support some of these great events planned across our region.