BUCKHANNON — Join the fun Saturday for a new Buckhannon event that brings back some old traditions too.
The first West Virginia Hillbilly Celebration will take place in Jawbone Park on Saturday, April 8 from 10 a.m. to about dark, according to organizer Gary Connell.
An opening ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. with mayor David McCauley giving remarks.
Connell said he and some others wanted to put on the celebration as a community event for the early spring.
“There are not really any events happening this early and we wanted to have something to look forward to,” he said.
There are a variety of things happening at Jawbone all day and temperatures are expected to be in the mid-50s with sunshine.
Buck Edwards is coordinating a chili cook-off, with teams cooking starting at 10 a.m.
Teams are welcome to make their chili at home and bring it by to the park by 11:30 a.m. Registration is $10 and pre-registration is available by calling 304-588-5200.
Samples of chili will be served to the public in the afternoon.
Bed races, an old tradition from West Virginia Wesleyan College, will be returning this year.
Although these won’t be regular beds, they will be carts meant to resemble beds. Teams of five will push the carts around the block, starting near the former 7-11 on Madison Street, coming up Spring Street and entering the Jawbone parking lot, where they will finish in front of the old Dollar General store.
Registration for this event starts at 9 a.m. and Connell has carts that will be used. Races will start soon after registration and trophies will be awarded for first, second and third place.
Bluegrass Preserves led by Mark Lynch and Rob Hoover will be providing bluegrass tunes throughout the day. Several professional food vendors will be set up including Connell’s business, JAWS BBQ!, and there will be a variety of crafters and other vendors set up. Anyone wishing to set up should contact Connell today at 304-472-2700.
A freewill donation beans and cornbread dinner will be served at the Buckhannon Fire Department starting at 4 p.m. BFD chief Jim Townsend said Connell is providing the food and the fire department will be handling the donations and setup of the teams. In exchange, they will get a percentage of the donations, which will go to the volunteer department for equipment purchases.
The Hillbilly Celebration is sponsored by the City of Buckhannon and Upshur County Convention and Visitors Bureau.