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Three Days Of Fun,
Food and Festivities
by Bill Bailey

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The theme for this year’s Wood Festival was “Takin’ It To The Streets,” and the Wood Festival Committee, sponsors and volunteers did just that.

Numerous events, special entertainment and excellent weather drew large crowds to the 49th festival and made it a memorable presentation.

The festival got underway on Thursday with entertainment by CCCOA choir, The McCauleys, Tracey Miller, and Bound For Glory.

The 1st annual Charlie Whipkey Spirit of the Wood Festival Award was presented to Angie, Joe and Ashley Hersman for their hard work and dedication to the Wood Festival and the community over the past 10 years. It is named in honor of long-time Wood Festival supporter and designer of the Wood Festival logo, Charlie Whipkey, who died Dec. 6.

Friday’s crowd was disappointed when told that Calhoun bluegrass legend Lester McCumbers was unable to perform due to illness.

Fifteen contestants performed in the Calhoun Idol contest, which was judged by CHS band director Gina Stump, CHS music director Eileen Marsh, and music major graduate of GSC Stephanie Sumner.

Music was provided by The Karaoke Cowboys, who also performed after the event.

The five finalists were Chelsea Hicks, Danielle Richards, Ellie Webb, Stephanie Hall and Shannon Jones. After another round of performances, the judges awarded first place to Chelsea Hicks, second to Ellie Webb, and third Stephanie Hall.

Hicks is the daughter of Chuck and Gina Hicks of Big Bend. She received a one song demo recording session at Sweetsong Productions, Parkersburg.

The evening’s entertainment was capped with a performance by Side FX, featuring Jeremy “Fat Boy” Houchin.

Saturday’s Kid’s Day activities had children hopping, skipping and hula hooping, and a clown was on hand to brighten their day.

The Grand Parade was at noon and featured parade marshals Burl and Jean Muncy Simers, who will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary in July. Both are retired from the Calhoun County school system and dedicate many hours to the citizens of the county.

The parade had queens and princesses, little woodchucks, baseball teams, organizations, antique cars and trucks, CHS marching band, and one horse.

Entertainment after the parade was provided by W.Va. Bluegrass Alliance.

Afternoon activities included a kiddie pedal-tractor pull. With     one of the tractors big enough for adults, two Grantsville volunteer firemen were the first to challenge each other. Rumor has it that, one day soon, a fireman will ride a bicycle three times around the courthouse in full uniform . . . and a pink tutu.

The children had a good time vying for bragging rights on the little tractors, and things got more interesting as the tractors--and contestants--got bigger.

Mary Fluharty, Miss Wood Festival, completed a “full pull” of 50 feet, as did teenager Ethan Heiney. The two faced off in a no holds barred final pull, and Heiney managed to go 67 feet, 4 inches, to beat Fluharty, who competed in sash and tiara.

Other winners were: 0-45 lbs., Sawyer Henderson, 25 ft., 3 in.; 46-55, Icel McCray, 47 ft., 8 in.; 56-65, Austin Koon, 50 ft.; 66-75, John Watkins, 53 ft., 8 in.; 76-100, Ethan Fisher, 51 ft., 7 in.; and in the adult division, Kathy Curry defeated Brenda Bush.

In a final “exhibition,” Wood Festival treasurer and spokes-man Jim Sullivan went less than eight feet, until assisted by festival committee members, who pushed him over the finish line. Sullivan said, “It takes a committee to get the job done.”

A corn hole tournament, with a prize of $100, was won by Steve Dunn and Roger Wilson, with Charlie Richards and Bryan Wilson second.

Entertainment on Saturday included Stoker 7, John Richards (who also plays with Side FX), Will Freed Band, Plan B, and Dangerfield.

The festival closed with a fireworks display from Pine Creek Hill.

Next year will be the 50th annual Wood Festival and I can hardly wait to see what is in store.

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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