Downtown Festival Opens Aug 22nd; Runs Through Aug. 25th
By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
August seems to be a popular month for fairs and festivals in the Mountain State. According to one online listing, there are more than 30 festivals in various cities in West Virginia throughout just the month of August – and that listing didn’t even include the State Fair of WV that is going on right now!
Among those upcoming fairs/festivals is Shinnston’s annual Frontier Days celebration, which is scheduled to begin next Wednesday, August 22nd and runs through Saturday, August 25th. As with most festivals, it will include all of the ‘essentials’ for such an event – food, entertainment, amusements, and in Shinnston, parades, of course!
According to Shinnston Community Development Director T.J. Book, Myers Amusements will once again be offering their selection of rides and games, and the purchase of a $20 wristband entitles the wearer to ride all the rides they want for that day’s duration.
“One thing that we’ve paid attention to in the past is that many of their rides are more geared to older youth and teens, leaving the younger ones with fewer to enjoy. For a family with several small children, wristbands might be cost-prohibitive if there aren’t many rides for their age group,” T.J. explained. “We’ve tried to remedy that this year and Cartoon Headquarters will be joining us with many inflatables that are more child-friendly and better suited for those under ten years of age. Those are very reasonably priced.”
Book said they have confirmations from numerous food and drink vendors already and they expect positive responses from several others prior to the event’s start date.
Several of these vendors have participated in Frontier Days in years past and for some of the community’s events and are anxious to come back and take part again. For example, Joe Demus will be providing his delicious hoagies; Chick-fil-A will return with their specialties; Gil’s Pit Beef from Glenville will satisfy the barbeque lovers; Jessica Medina is coming with her Spanish Sausage; My Little Cupcake will have desserts and frosty drinks; The Sip Station will be serving their frozen frappuccinos, iced coffee, ice cold lemonade and snow cones in a variety of flavors; and of course expect someone with funnel cakes!
One new Frontier Days vendor this year will be the Random Rabbit that offers a selection of vegan treats.
“We’ve done very well attracting vendors this year, and that may be due in part to the fact that some of them have joined us as participants for our monthly ‘Wind Down Wednesday’ activities. They have met with success during their visits to our community for these events and they’re anxious to take part in Frontier Days,” Book continued.
He noted that he is happy to see many local youth and school organizations participating this year as well.
“We are always glad to welcome youth participation!” Book added. “Our Little League and Pop Warner will be trying to raise some funds along with the Lincoln High School Marching Band that is working to raise funding for a trip they have planned. And there may be a few others too. We hope our attendees will take this opportunity to support our youth groups.”
The 4-H Tractor Show will return again this year. However, this year it will be a little more visible in the downtown area. Their show will be hosted on the grassy lot at the corner of Pike and Main Street with contests and fanfare for young and old alike.
Certainly the entertainment has been expanded this year! A free concert series will be on tap with an eclectic lineup of musicians of both local and national notoriety, Book stated.
“We will have free entertainment Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at both 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.,” he continued. “All of our musical entertainment will be on the Main Stage located just below the Fire Department. People should bring lawn chairs with them to enjoy these concerts.”
Entertainment will include: Nick Davisson and Nat Frederick at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, followed by the popular Davisson Brothers Band, headlining at 8 p.m.
On Thursday, August 23rd, Aristotle Jones & The Digital Nomads will take the stage at 4 p.m. followed by Weary Space Wanderer at 8 p.m.
On Friday, August 24th Last Year’s Model will offer entertainment at 6 p.m. and very special guests to this year’s event – The Clarks – will perform at 8 p.m. The Clarks are an American rock band from the Pittsburgh region. Over the course of twenty years, they have produced ten studio albums, two live albums, a compilation album, an EP and four solo releases, selling near a quarter of a million copies.
Saturday will be the final day of the 2018 Frontier Days, and entertainment will begin at noon with Glen Shelton … followed by Blue Steel at 6 p.m. and Silas Powell & The Family Band concludes the entertainment with a show at 8 p.m.
The Shinnston Volunteer Fire Department will host a Fireman’s Parade on Thursday evening, followed by their traditional “water battle” on Railroad Street.
Grand Parade will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 25th. All entries are welcome and are asked to call the Community Development Director at 304-592-5631 in advance so they can be placed in the lineup. Entries will assemble on old high school hill at 10:30 that morning.
Amusement rides, vendors and the tractor show all open at 4 p.m. on Wed., Thurs. and Fri.; on Saturday, they begin at noon.
“We are looking forward to a wonderful festival this year and we’re hopeful that the weather will cooperate,” Book concluded. “A few of our downtown merchants may have special hours during Frontier Days as well, so we hope that our visitors will stop by and see what they have to offer.”
The City of Shinnston expresses their sincere appreciation to the following sponsors whose generosity has helped to enhance this year’s celebration: North Central WV Airport, Ryan Environmental, First Energy, Antero Resources, Thrasher Group, Thompsons Inc., Abruzzino’s Bakery, the Harrison County Commission, Shinnston Plumbing, Ace Hardware, and Dominion.
Mark your calendars and plan to enjoy Frontier Days 2018 in downtown Shinnston next week.