Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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May 27, 2013

Annual festival coming to a close

BLUEFIELD — Rock-It rolled down the midway of the 2013 Cole Chevy Mountain Festival Sunday afternoon, attracting legions of children like a modern day Pied Piper.

“Do you have a camera?” Rock-It said to Leslie Gillespie. “I didn’t bring a camera because I don’t have pockets.”

Leslie Gillespie found a camera as her son, Spencer Gillespie, was communicating with Rock-It, the 9-foot-tall “Ultimate Galactic Ambassador of Good Will.” Rock-It sang a little, danced a little and shared an inspirational message as scores of people of all ages gathered around to watch his show.

“It’s a little bit scary,” one young lady who appeared to be in her 20s said as she walked away from the crowd.

“I’m only seven years old, so I don’t have a license to drive yet,” Rock-It said. Rock-It’s appearance in Bluefield was park of a Mark Sonder Production.

In the meantime as Rock-It was preparing to make his entrance, Charles Misenheimer, was setting up shop for a performance of “Magic by Chaz.” He enlisted the help of a young man in from the audience to hold two coins in the palm of his hand. Chaz slipped one of the coins — a Kennedy half-dollar — out of the volunteer’s hand, leaving only a copper coin of about the same size.

“Now, I’m not the kind of a magician who uses a distraction to perform slight-of-hand so don’t pay any attention to that nine-foot robot passing by,” Chaz said. He pulled the copper coin out of the volunteer’s hand and laid it on a table, then asked the volunteer to open his hand. The volunteer was holding the copper coin, and the half-dollar was on Chaz’s magic table. “Thanks Rock-It,” Chaz shouted as Rock-It rolled down the midway.

Nadja Palenzuela and Kara Gilmore drew a huge crowd for the afternoon performance of their Magnificent Mutts. “We arrived here on Friday and have had really great crowds all three days,” Palenzuela said. “The crowds have been wonderful.”

Gilmore came out among the public with her dog, “Squeaky” for photographs. Isabella Gibson hugged Squeaky as her mother, Patty Gibson, photographed them with Gilmore.

“We saw this show here last year,” Ed Gibson, Patty’s husband and Isabella’s dad said. “It’s good ... Really good.”

Sunday’s activities started early at 9 a.m. with a multitude of beautiful vehicles participating in the 4th Annual Memorial Day Classic sponsored by J-104.5, Kicks Country and The Eagle.

Mark Rockwell of Bluefield had his red 1965 Corvair convertible with black interior at the car show.

“This one had factory air conditioning in it,” Rockwell said of his restoration masterpiece that took him two-years to complete. “It’s very rare for a 1965 Corvair convertible to have factory air conditioning.”

Kyle Hurt, general chairman of the Cole Chevy Mountain Festival said the weekend crowds have been very good. “I’ve seen a lot of people having a good time,” he said.

Marc Meachum, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce — the host of the Cole Chevy Mountain Festival — said: “The fireworks were great!”

Miss Cole Chevy Mountain Festival Queen Torri Bradshaw will conclude her reign this morning when she provides remarks as part of the Riley Vest Post No. 9 of the American Legion’s Memorial Day Service starting at 10:30 a.m. in Chicory Square.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.comꆱ

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