Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

July 6, 2013

Friends, family gather for food, fun and fireworks on Peel Chestnut Mountain

POCAHONTAS, Va. — Despite some sprinkles and ominous clouds, fireworks lit up the sky over Peel Chestnut Mountain Friday night.

Members of the local community came out to the Synan Farm on Peel Chestnut Mountain for the annual fireworks display, which had been rescheduled from Wednesday due to inclement weather. However, hundreds of people showed up for the rescheduled event, taking part in hayrides, listening to music and catching up with friends.

Kim Sawyers of Bluefield, Va., said Friday was her first time attending the fireworks display.

“My husband brought me,” she said. “It is a good, hometown thing to do. It’s more intimate than sitting in a parking lot with 900 people to watch fireworks.”

Joyce Childress of Abbs Valley, Va., said the event is a way for her to catch up with family.

“Most of the time we come out here for the fireworks,” Childress said. “We love the music and the fireworks. There is always a lot to do here. We bring the grandkids and the great-grandkids. They love going on the hayride. It’s nice that all the neighbors can get together. People from out of town always come in. It’s a family reunion for a lot of people.”

Jay Hart of Princeton said he has been bringing his children to see the fireworks since 2011.

“It’s a nice family atmosphere and you can meet people in the community,” Hart said. “My wife and I both have roots in this area or have family in this area. I’ve been coming to this festival for years. For a lot of people, this is just like coming home.”

Bud O’Donnell of Rock said he came to enjoy the music.

“I just wanted to get out of the house and listen to some music,” O’Donnell said. “I like bluegrass music and fireworks, so we decided to come. This is the first time I’ve been here. It’s the first time I’ve been on Peel Chestnut Mountain. It’s been good to see a lot of friends.”

Helen Starkey of Pocahontas, Va., said she only returned to the area recently but had volunteered to serve food with friends.

“My friends come almost every year and they brought me,” she said. “It’s beautiful up here. The people are friendly and this is a good community activity. People can get together, meet friends and have a good, clean time.”

Linda Amos of Bluefield, Va., said she was enjoying her first time seeing the fireworks.

“I just wanted to see what they had to do,” Amos said. “It’s a real nice event. The music is good and it brings people together.”

— Contact Kate Coil at

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