Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

September 22, 2011

AutumnFest falls into place in Princeton

PRINCETON — Fall is officially coming to Four Seasons Country as the city of Princeton hosts its 6th Annual AutumnFest on Mercer Street Saturday.

The festival will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24 until 8 p.m. in downtown Princeton along Mercer Street from Bee Street to 5th Street with plenty of exhibits, crafts and contests for visitors.

According to Keith Circle, a spokesperson with the Princeton-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce, organizers are planning for this year’s festival to be bigger than ever.

“We’re hoping for an AutumnFest that’s bigger and better than last year,” Circle said. “Several of the facets that were so popular last year are returning this year, like the carnival rides, pumpkin pie eating contest and the talent show.”

Visitors to the festival will get to see a wide variety of entertainment during the festival this year featuring many local artists, Circle said.

“We have great entertainment lined up for the stage that includes the

Ratliff Brothers Band, Jonathan Buckner and The Chosen Road,” Circle said. “Delnora Reed has been wanting to come back and perform in her hometown of Princeton, and we’re really proud to have been able to arrange that.”

Circle also said the festival will be welcoming back a popular contest this year.

“One thing I would like for people to note is the return of the 2nd Annual AutumnFest Art and Photography Show,” he said. “It will be held in the newly renovated Hadden Building, which now is The Turnaround.”

This year’s festival kicks off with the first AutumnFest Fitness Race, a five-kilometer race around the area beginning at the Princeton Health and Fitness Center on East Mercer Street. The race will begin at 8 a.m. with a route planned throughout the city. Race winners will be honored at a ceremony on the main stage between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.

Opening ceremonies for the festival will begin at 9:45 a.m. as Miss AutumnFest Morgan Cottrel, 20, of Spencer; Miss Princeton AutumnFest Teen Queen is Kelli Shannon, 15, of Princeton; and fellow pageant contestants will lead the Princeton Middle School marching band up Mercer Street to the Fountain Triangle.  

At 9:30 a.m., registration will begin for the dog show, which will be held at 10 a.m. in the town square.

Also starting at 10 a.m. will be apple butter making demonstrations in front of the former First Community Bank and food and craft vendors will begin opening their booths across the street. A classic car show will begin at 10 a.m. and last until 4:30 p.m. on 8th Street.

Other events include a K-9 Unit demonstration from 11:15 a.m. and again at 2:15 p.m. on 9th Street, a bicycle rodeo from 11 a.m. until noon on 9th Street, carnival rides throughout the day, and a pumpkin pie eating contest for children and adults from noon until 1 p.m. at the Fountain Triangle.

Musical performances will be held on the throughout the day of the festival starting with the Princeton Middle School band at 11 a.m. at the Fountain Triangle.

The Ratliff Brother’s Band will perform at the town square stage at 11 a.m. Also on the town square stage will be Jonathan Buckner performing at 12 p.m., Delnora Reed performing at 1:30 p.m. and a talent show beginning at 4 p.m.

Children aged 7 through 12 will also get to participate in free pumpkin painting from 11 a.m. to noon and then from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. on the sidewalk in front of the former First Community Bank.

At 7:30 p.m., the Children’s Home Society will host a free movie night showcasing feature film “Despicable Me” on the town square stage.

— Contact Kate Coil at

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