Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

September 22, 2013

Rain doesn’t stop crowd from enjoying festival

By BILL ARCHER
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

CEDAR BLUFF, Va. — A little rain on Saturday didn’t prevent thousands of people from coming to Cedar Bluff, Va., to enjoy the community’s 39th Annual Heritage Festival.

“We don’t mind a little rain, do we?” Linda Singleton, festival chairperson said. “We’re from Tazewell County. We can deal with it.”

Junior and Dot Keene of Pounding Mill, Va., didn’t mind the rain. They simply opened up their umbrella and sat on a bench near the Town Square Band Stand to watch the Richlands High School Marching Band open up a day of concerts at three concert venues — the bandstand, the Big Top, and the Freedom Ford Stage behind the Cedar Bluff Elementary School.

While the RHS Band was performing at the bandstand, the Horn Family performed for a packed house under the Big Top, and Hershel Muncy gave the crowd something to clap their hands about at the Freedom Ford Stage. The three stages offered performances by bagpipers, bluegrass musicians, country, rock and more while Singleton’s offered performances by dancers, church choirs, cloggers and more.

The light rain didn’t appear to stop a huge crowd of people from forming a line at the counter of Auntie Ruth’s doughnut and pretzel shop. “We try to get a box of doughnuts every time we come to this festival,” Michelle Dale of Lebanon, Va., said. She said Auntie Ruth’s glazed doughnuts are a big attraction at the festival. “Just don’t eat the whole box,” she said.

Roman Kauffman, Auntie Ruth’s husband, said that the Chuckey, Tenn., based company enjoys visiting Cedar Bluff. “This is the fourth or fifth year that we’ve been here and we have long lines like this every time,” Kauffman said. “We go to a lot of festivals, but most places aren’t like this. It runs you ragged trying to keep up with all the people.

“I knew it was going to be this way and I was determined to make this festival our best ever here,” Kauffman said. “The lines have been like this all day long every time we’ve been here. It’s fun!”

Jerry Sword of Abingdon, Va., was showing his new Civil War documentary film in the Cedar Bluff community room as part of the community’s observance of Civil War heritage. Sword encouraged people with interests in the topic to visit his Facebook Page, (Facebook.com/CivilWarGhost Stories). “I welcome anyone with Civil War ghost stories to contact me and we’ll go from there. “Sword wrote the theme song for a 2006 movie, “Rosalee Park.”

Activities were taking place in every corner of the community with special activities like the Great Clinch River Duck Race as well as the Antique Car Parade scheduled for the afternoon. Singleton expressed her thanks to all the sponsors who made the event possible.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com