Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

August 5, 2012

Fun abounds as Bluefield plays host to 2 festivals

BLUEFIELD — Early morning clouds gave way to afternoon sunshine as the city of Bluefield proved to be a fertile ground for a pair of street fairs as the South Bluefield Merchants and Professional Association blocked off South Street and hosted its 10th annual Lemonade Days Festival while the Downtown Bluefield Merchants Association held its 14th annual Street Fair.

“I want to thank everyone who helped so much to make this lemonade festival possible,” Jeri Ball, Lemonade Festival chair said immediately following a performance by the opening act at the festival. “You have all come together to make this event a success.”

Along with closing down South Street, event organizers closed down a portion of Vine Street leading to the stage on the back parking lot of Cole Harley-Davidson where most of the mid-afternoon performers played. Performers at Cole Harley-Davidson included Pieces of One, One-Eyed Jack and Andy Crawford.

Karl Miller and his music partner kicked off the show at 10 a.m., while volunteers still worked to deck the former Mapco parking lot with lemon yellow balloons. Matt Deal followed with his eclectic mix of music — all leading up to the big show by the Collegians.

Most of the members of the incredibly popular Collegians present configuration have been members of the band for 22 years.

At the same time in another part of town, Randle Grant and Eric Crawford were conducting the annual Bluefield Union Mission auction of donated items. This year’s auction featured 100 items, featured spirited bidding and raised $1,047 for the mission.

“We have had excellent attendance at every activity through both days of our street fair,” Art Riley, president of the Downtown Bluefield Merchants Association said. “Randy Lamb and his dancers put on a huge show and every one of those 60 dancers brought at least two family members with them.

“The thing that has impressed me most of all has been the fact that all of the downtown business owners have participated as volunteers in this two-day fair,” he said. “Bill Nabors has been working on the Downhill Derby all afternoon, and Brian Davidson of B&B Auto Service provided the golf cart so we could pull the racers back to the top of the hill.”

The winners of this year’s Derby were, in the 10-12 age group: First, Isaiah Neal; second, Lakyn Sabo; and third, Grace Remines. Winners of the 6-9 age group were: First, Megan Cline; second, Braedyn Schrader; and third, Trevor Sawyers.

Riley said that the “Shark” downhill racer that he found in Salem, Va., ran the course in 14 seconds, while the other small-wheeled carts did it in 15-seconds plus.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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