Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 17, 2013

Folks chase away February chill at annual Winter Warmer

By BILL ARCHER
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Click here for video.

 

A few flakes snowed, music and spirits flowed and lots of people showed they knew how to have a good time Saturday afternoon as the Bluefield Beautification Commission — with the help of Cole Harley-Davidson — rolled out the red carpet for the 2013 West Virginia Winter Warmer.

Conversations of all kinds were taking place in every quarter of the spacious motorcycle facility. Some talked politics while others talked about sports. Several talked about music, the fine and performing arts. But mostly, people seemed to be having a good time.

“We do have events like this at home,” Carina Jesch said as she and a friend walked through the crowded room. Jesch is a foreign exchange student from Munich, Germany, who is completing her studies at Bluefield State College. She completed her classroom work during her first semester in the fall and is working for the city of Bluefield in the code enforcement department to complete the second part of her year of study. She just smiled when asked if Germans like beer.

“I really like it,” Kamola Azizova, Jesch’s friend from Uzbekistan said. Azizova is also a foreign exchange student. She is a BSC senior and will complete her second year in Bluefield this spring. “This is fun!”

Charlie Cole was making his rounds inside the facility as well as through the tents on the outside, making sure that the guests were comfortable. Outdoor heating units made the tents warm and comfy, and the smorgasbord of tasty treats inside attracted people indoors as well.

“There are plenty of beautiful things to see here,” Gail Satterfield, chair of the Beautification Commission said.

David Hardin, owner of David’s at the Club, created a 15-foot-long s’mores bar, complete with open sterno flames for marshmallow roasting, crushed chocolate, wooden skewers, along with plenty of marshmallows and Graham crackers to surround the sweet filling.

In answer to an inquisitive look accompanied with a gesture involving two open hands with palms turned upward, Hardin smiled, pointed to the temple on the left side of his head and nodded in the affirmative.

“The bass player from the Grass Monkey Band said that this is the first time he had been to Bluefield, and added: ‘You have an amazingly beautiful city here.’ They all said they were thrilled to be here,” Pete Sternloff, a member of the Bluefield Board of Directors said. “That’s really something — to have a great band from Roanoke, Va., come here and say that about our city.”

In the meantime, Bluefield City Manager Jim Ferguson was working his way through the crowd, carrying a bag filled with “Team Bluefield” badges and deputizing people left and right.

“I’m looking for people who will emphasize the positive things about Bluefield,” Ferguson said before swearing in another deputy.

In addition to Grass Monkey and JC&BC, The Boatmen performed at the Winter Warmer.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com