Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

July 28, 2013

Festival delivers fun to streets of Tazewell

BILL ARCHER
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

TAZEWELL, Va. — Cooler than normal temperatures and an on again-off again chain of rain showers that rolled slowly through the region Saturday morning and afternoon likely had an impact on the daytime attendance at the 2013 Tazewell Main Street Moments Festival, but community spirits were not dampened in the least.

“Our Rotary Club decided to sell watermelon slices as a fundraiser,” John Biggs said as he stood beneath a canopy to dodge a brief rain shower. “We’ve only sold one slice so far,” he said at 11 a.m.”

The rain didn’t seem to bother Chrissie Anderson Peters, a native of Baptist Valley who now lives in Bristol, Tenn. Peters contracted with the Main Street Moments Festival coordinators with the town of Tazewell and the Tazewell County Chamber of Commerce to sell, “Dog Days and Dragonflies,” her self-published anthology of short stories and poems inspired by her experiences growing up in rural Tazewell County.

“I left my day job in early January,” Peters said, adding that she left her job to pursue her dreams of becoming a writer. She and her husband, a registered nurse, are preparing to go to Europe in the weeks ahead.

“I’ve had a life-long obsession with Duran Duran,” she said. “John Taylor (Duran Duran bass player) wrote an autobiography (‘In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran’) and he will be doing a book reading at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (Aug. 10-26) so we’re going there.” Other authors at the festival include Salman Rushdie.

Tazewell Mayor Donald Buchanan and Town Manager Todd Day seemed to be enjoying themselves visiting with people and enjoying the activities at the festival. Buchanan didn’t hold anyone responsible for the morning showers.

John Ball, director of YoungLife in Tazewell County was staffing a tent that was close to the bouncy rides that are popular with young festival-goers.

“The key to this ministry is our contact work,” Ball said. “I coach soccer here, but I also get out and talk with young people who need someone to talk to. “I would say that contact work is 99 percent of this ministry.”

Kes Blackwell, chairman of the festival, said that the musical group, Phil Dirt and the Dozers, were popular when the festival started 9 years ago when the event started.

“They put on a great show,” Blackwell said.

Weather conditions in Southwest Virginia improved during the evening, making the concert a possibility.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com