Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

June 29, 2014

Bustling crowd, lively music fills downtown Princeton for street festival

PRINCETON — Great weather, great food, great music, great cars and great fellowship made the 2014 a big hit for hundreds of people who crowded Mercer Street in the heart of downtown Princeton for the annual Celebrate Princeton festival.

“It’s not too hot today and it seems like everyone is having a great time,” Keith Circle, administrative assistant of the Princeton-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce, said. According to Circle, the one-day street fair/festival had its origins after SummerFest finished its run.

“The last year for SummerFest was either 2003 or ’04,” he said. “When we decided to end SummerFest, Connie Shumate took over and started this festival. I think this is our tenth one. I hadn’t thought about that before.” For several years, rain dampened the turnout, but not for the 10th annual celebration.

Dreama Denver was excited to get to the celebration. Several members of Mountain Memories Car Club took her 1972 Plymouth Satellite Sebring, got it running, detailed the interior and waxed it after it had sat in the garage at her son’s house for more than 10 years.

“That is an authentic Bob Denver dent,” Dreama Denver said as she pointed to a dent in the front fender just behind the headlight on the passenger side. “Bob used to tease me about it all the time, but it is a good car.”

Denver said she bought the Satellite Sebring from the wife of a Naval captain when she had her late husband, comedian Bob Denver, star of “The Many Loves of Doby Gillis” and “Gilligan’s Island,” were living in Orlando, Fla. “The captain’s wife just drove it around the base and took very good care of it,” Denver said.

Lou Wykle of Mountain Memories Car Club said that club members got the car from Dreama two weeks before the festival. “We put new batteries and fuel in it and cleaned it out,” Wykle said. “It had been kept in a garage for 14 years, so we had to do some things to it to get it running again. We waxed it Thursday night.”

Street musicians of several kinds were strategically positioned up and down Mercer Street. Jordan Furrow, wearing a rat mask and playing drum and Alasha Alqudwah on violin, both of Charleston, drew a crowd with their performance. Even Robert Klander, of Princeton, a member of the Riff Raff Arts Collective, brought his soprano saxophone over to jam with Furrow and Alqudwah.

Children were playing on the carnival rides set up in town, and larger groups were drawing a crowd at the stage in Dick Copeland Square. There were plenty of smiles to go around on a pleasant day in Princeton.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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