FOCUS: Welcome to the WVSF 80th year... “Strawberry Flashback”

This week is the celebration of the West Virginia Strawberry Festival’s 80th year. For me, this flashback has many memories of the years I worked with the Strawberry Festival.  I have so many memories of the wonderful visitors that I met from towns all over the United States. I also met folks from several other countries. The visitors always commented about the friendliness shown to them here in Buckhannon. They always felt welcome.

I loved working with the visiting bands and have lots of stories to tell about their visits. I remember how nice the bands were to their chaperones. Some were taken in as honorary members. Some chaperones were given really nice gifts. Then there were times our chaperones made several trips to the hospital with band members who were overcome with heat.  I remember the first time Shaw Jr. High School Band came into town on the wrong road and we had to follow them down to the Poe Bridge before they were stopped. I became good friends with Mr. Hoover the band director of Shaw. He finally retired and his son took over.  I was sad not to see Mr. Hoover.  I always met each of the bands at the Courthouse and a couple of years later Principal of Shaw Junior High School got off the first bus with a greeting.  They brought four or five buses with them.  Someone got off the last bus and came running to greet me.  It was Mr. Hoover. He said he wanted to surprise me. He picked me up and swung me around. I have warm memories of the Shaw Band and how well behaved they were. I remember the first time a band came from California. They entertained at the Courthouse. I could not understand why their band chaperones were looking across Main Street and taking pictures. They were so taken with the mail pouch painting on the building, they kept taking pictures. They also made many comments of the green grass they encountered when they came to Buckhannon. I could go on and on about the wonderful experiences I had working with the bands from all over the United States, Canada and other countries. I shall cherish my many memories of the 80th Strawberry Flashback.

Working with the W.Va. Strawberry Festival brings many people to Buckhannon to celebrate the Strawberry. All of those who put this festival together are volunteers. These volunteers work over a year to present the best possible festival for all ages. The last few years have been very difficult due to COVID.  This year has brought many of the Strawberry events back. Everyone likes parades which will be with us again. Enjoy all of the festival events and realize that much work has been done to make these events happen.  When we look back to the festival during forties, we had a few years during World War II when the festival was not held. There may be times in the future when something will happen and the festival will not be held.  The 80th WVSF is here this week and people will enjoy a variety of special events, lots of music, and a huge variety of strawberry items to purchase including all kinds of strawberry desserts.

I attend Chapel Hill UMC and I know how hard folks have worked to make 1,000 dozens of their special sugar cookies for sale.  They started selling the cookies this morning. Get your cookies today and hope they still have some to sell on Friday.  Strawberry Shortcake with homemade ice cream will also be sold beginning on Thursday.  Friday and Saturday will also feature the shortcake and ice cream along with hot dogs and snacks.  The money raised will be used for various programs in the church and the community.

The First UMC will sell Strawberry Pancakes beginning Friday at 7 a.m. as well as Saturday at 7 a.m.  Money raised will help various programs in the community.

Visit the various groups selling strawberry foods.  The money collected helps many special causes in the area. Visit the Food Court at Jawbone and make sure to visit the Strawberry Gift Shop on Main Street. If you like music, there will lots of groups entertaining at Jaw Bone and on Main Street.

I have folks asking me about the coverage of parades with Channel 3. Channel 3 will live stream the Junior Royalty Parade this evening at 6:30 on Channel 3 and will repeat the parade next week. Channel 3 will also live stream the Firemen’s Parade on Friday at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 3 and repeat it next week. The Grand Feature Parade will be live streamed Saturday at 1 p.m. on TV3 and repeated on Channel 3 next week. Channel 3 will live stream the Gospel Sing at the Way of Holiness Church on Sunday at 2 p.m. and repeat it next week. Channel 3 will film the Quilt Show and the Car Show to be aired next week. Please check The Record Delta’s Channel 3 Schedule for the times of showcasing these events.

Thank you to all who work to provide this Strawberry Festival and we welcome and thank all who attend. Thank you to the Record Delta for a great introduction to the 80th West Virginia Strawberry Festival planned for all ages.  “Have Fun!”


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