By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
Kayleigh Kyle was named Shinnston’s new Economic Development Coordinator and assumed those duties the first of April of this year. During the ensuing three months, she not only had to become familiar with the community and a job in city government, but there were events to coordinate beginning in May. AND, plans for Shinnston’s BIG annual event – Frontier Days – needed to get a running start!
Most recently, she put together a detailed brochure regarding sponsorship packages available to businesses, organizations, and individuals to support the four-day festival that will be held this year August 21st – 24th. Because festival activities are held right in the downtown area, which is a high traffic area, it is a great opportunity for sponsors to market themselves, Kayleigh noted.
“We are happy to welcome WV Radio Corporation’s 101.3, 106.5, and 102.3 radio stations as partners this year and hope that their pre-event and on-site marketing of Frontier Days will be a great asset to our festival,” she stated. “Considering the fact that this event attracts so many attendees from throughout north central West Virginia who often return for multiple days of the festival, it also brings new visitors to our downtown shops.”
Kayleigh has visited 30 businesses thus far and said that many are interested in helping to sponsor the event.
“Last year’s income from Frontier Days was $8,250 and that included proceeds from Myers Amusement. Thus far we have accumulated $5,964 in sponsorships and a grant from the WV Dept. of Arts, Culture and History. We are off to a good start, I think!” she added.
Myers Amusements will be returning again this year with carnival rides and games, and all food vendors that have participated in the past have also committed to returning. A few new things will be making a ‘first appearance’ at Frontier Days this year – Chainsaw carving, ‘Cooking & Baking at its Best’, Medina’s Sausage and more. Civil War Reenactors will return as well, along with a Car & Tractor Show on Saturday. Dave and Sugar Karaoke will be on hand both Thursday and Friday too.
Kayleigh has been busy lining up lots of entertainment for the Main Stage that will be located once again in the lot behind the Fire Department. To date, entertainment will include the following:
Wednesday, August 21st – Brass, Rhythm & Sax Orchestra at 6 p.m. and Jacob’s Ferry Stragglers (bluegrass) at 8 p.m.
Thursday, August 22nd – Charles Wesley at 8 p.m.
Friday, August 23rd – Walker Montgomery (country music; son of Michael Montgomery) at 8 p.m.
Saturday, August 24th – Glen Shelton (country) at noon; Clinton Collins (southern soul, rock ‘n roll) at 6 p.m.; and Sunset Roosters (southern classic rock) at 8 p.m.
As always, the Grand Parade will be featured on Saturday, beginning 11 a.m.
Kayleigh reports that there are some additional activities being considered too –kids’ activities (three-legged race and egg on a spoon race, etc.), bingo, and baking contests. Keep watching for more details on these activities.
Staples will be providing programs for this year’s Frontier Days festival in exchange for sponsorship recognition.
Kayleigh concluded, “My hope is to make this a great event in 2019, and I plan to get the wheels rolling for next year’s event just a couple of weeks following the conclusion of this year’s festival. I’ll have more time to work on greater advance preparations for next year. I have also suggested to City Council that perhaps we consider moving the dates of Frontier Days next year to late September or early October so that it won’t conflict so much with the beginning of a new school year. At this point, we are focusing on this year’s event, but the thought has been planted to contemplate this for next year.”