2019 Festival Fridays kicks off season


BUCKHANNON- C.J. Rylands took the stage Friday evening to honor Jerry Kimble. “Create Buckhannon has chosen to honor Jerry Kimble for his contributions to Festival Fridays hosted in Jawbone Park each summer,” Rylands said. “Festival Fridays and Upshur County are not the same without Jerry Kimble.” Jerry Kimble, a longtime Upshur County resident, retired after 45 years of service in the oil and gas industry, and poured his life into volunteering until he passed away April 24, 2018. As a member of Create Buckhannon, he became involved in Festival Fridays and organized the 50-50 raffle drawings which helped make the concert series possible. Kimble was a member of the B.P.O.E 1736, the West Virginia Classic Wheels Car Club, on the board of the West Virginia Strawberry Festival association, and was appointed to the Upshur County Farmland Preservation Board. Jerry believed in bringing people together whether that be in Jawbone Park or on Main Street for the Strawberry Festival and car shows. He gave selflessly to the city of Buckhannon, and used his life to make city events better. Following the death of his wife Patty, he purchased a bench in her memory in Jawbone Park. “We are proud to announce that the bench dedicated to Kimble’s honor is located right beside his wife Patty’s bench,” Rylands said. 

On Friday the Jawbone Park stage was dedicated and named to honor Jim T. Farrell. Farrell founded his home in Upshur County later in life but immersed himself in continuing his service to his fellow man until he passed away Dec 1. 2017. A native of New York, Farrell served in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the Armed Forces Police Detachment, served in the 77 Army Reserves Command, was a New York State University Policeman at Stony Brook University on Long Island, worked as a NYC Park Policeman, and was the supervisor of the Highway Patrol Motor Carrier safety section of the Suffolk County Police Department. On Sept. 11, 2001, Jim responded when the World Trade Center was attacked. After moving to Upshur County with his wife Diane, Jim joined the Banks District Volunteer Fire Department to continue his volunteer fire service. He was a member of Central West Virginia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 114, the Fusion Liaison Program, Upshur Safe Sites and Structures Board, on the board of directors of the Appalachian Community Health Center, and was the director of the Upshur County Office of Emergency Management until Dec 2016. He joined Create Buckhannon and became a volunteer at Festival Fridays where he helped to create the emergency response plan and helped set up and tear down the sound system on the stage that is now named after him. “It is only right we name the stage in his honor,” Rylands said.

Makeup Magician Tabitha, from Paint Misbehavin’, paints faces for Festival Fridays. A Weston based company, Paint Misbehavin, has been around for 5 years. “We paint everything on faces including animals, Avengers, Minecraft, and even zombies,” Tabitha said.  “I enjoy the painting because of the many smiles I get,” Tabitha said. Frankie Tussey, 6 years old, said she loves face painting. “Every festival I get my face painted, it is my favorite thing to do,” Tussey said. As she sat down she told Magician Tabitha, “I want a unicorn please.” The end result had Frankie grinning from ear to ear. Anyone can get their face painted. The prices range from 5 to 15 dollars. A basic face painting is 5 dollars while a deluxe face painting, which includes glitter and jewels, costs 15 dollars.

Headline musical guest Ryan Cain and the Ables performed from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the Farrell Stage. The band formed in 2011 and has become West Virginia’s premiere rockabilly and retro rock band. They are a 4-piece band consisting of Ryan Cain on vocals and guitar, Evan Jones on electric bass guitar and acoustic guitar, Brandon Elmore on upright bass and acoustic guitar, and Gary Hamrick on drum. In 2013, Ryan Cain and the Ables were voted by the Ameripolitan Music Association as Best Rockabilly Band. All age groups at the festival enjoyed the music and familiar tunes encouraged crowd participation.

Buck’s BBQ chicken was a festival attendee favorite Friday. With over 120 pounds of chicken sold in a half hour, the vendor had to shut down shop. Buck was BBQ ing dinners which included either a quarter or half chicken with potato wedges and baked beans. The quarter dinners sell for 8 dollars and the half dinners sell for 10 dollars. For those who missed Buck’s BBQ this time around, there is always next Friday. Buck’s BBQ will be a staple throughout festival Fridays.

Next Festival Friday is June 7 at Jawbone Park starting at 5 p.m. An opening band will play from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. with headline band, Jakob’s Ferry, playing Bluegrass from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Good food, vendors, and friends will be ready for another Friday of celebration.

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