By KATE COIL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Carnival crews worked through the rain Monday to ensure rides would be up and running for today’s start of the 2013 Cole Chevy Mountain Festival.
Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Marc Meachum said crews with the James H. Drew Carnival worked in spite of foul weather Monday to make sure the carnival was open in time for visitors. The carnival is set to open today at 4 p.m.
“They began setting up the carnival in the morning,” he said. “They are unfortunately used to doing so in the rain. The weather can slow down their progress but Mr. Drew and his staff are very well versed in their work. We are confidant they will have things up and running by 4 p.m.”
Six local young women will be competing at the Bluefield Area Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. tonight for the Miss Cole Chevy Mountain Festival crown. Contestants include Torri Bradshaw, Katelyn Faith Gibson, Jennifer Hall, Taylar Page, Laci Nicole Sweeney, and Erica Ann Whited.
Meachum said the contestants spent much of the day Monday rehearsing for the pageant.
“We have six young ladies competing this year for the title,” he said. “We have anywhere from five to nine competing each year depending on the timing and things like whether or not school is in session. They spent the day rehearsing and from what I have heard we have a very good group of ladies competing this year.”
Other events are also taking place as part of the Mountain Festival. The “Crank It Up” team from Crosspointe Community Fellowship will be performing a contemporary Christian concert at the Bluefield Auditorium on Wednesday with free admission. At 6 p.m. on Thursday, the Bluefield, Va., Lion’s Club will be hosting a fundraising dinner for the Andora Giffen Scholarship drive.
As the week goes on, Meachum said more vendors are expected to arrive at the park in preparation for the weekend’s festivities.
“The vendors will be coming in over the next several days,” Meachum said. “They don’t have to arrive until Friday, but many come early to take advantage of the carnival crowds. The evening entertainment will start on Wednesday and the on-ground entertainment will begin Friday. It’s an exciting time in the two Virginias.”
— Contact Kate Coil at firstname.lastname@example.org