What were you doing 34 years ago?
That was when the West Virginia Three Rivers Festival was born.
It didn’t start out as the Three Rivers Festival. It actually started over Labor Day weekend in 1980 and it was called Septemberfest. But this rather hurriedly put-together festival was competing with the Italian Heritage Festival in Clarksburg, and that was a losing battle.
Fairmont’s festival — it began as the Coal Festival — had several names before it finally stopped attempting to appease numerous factions and adopted a simple name — such as the Strawberry Festival in Buckhannon, the Forest Festival in Elkins or the Buckwheat Festival in Kingwood.
The festival became the Three Rivers Festival. It had been the Coal Festival but after several years of having numerous mining companies show off their products, this was dropped.
So was the title Three Rivers Festival and Regatta, after the Gateway Clipper had to remain dockside because of heavy rains and high waters after a couple of successful voyages. The Clipper’s guests boarded and ate and even got in some dancing. But the popular party boat never left the dock.
Finding a permanent home was another problem the festival had. It started out on Adams Street, but this created some major traffic problems. Some downtown merchants complained that the festival kept people from their shops. So it took a new home at Middletown Mall — a marriage that was soon to split.
From there the festival called Palatine Park home, and later East Marion Park before it moved back to Palatine Park, where it remains today.
And guess what? We believe all the complaints have ended and everyone seems happy with the festival where it is now.
As we have stated in the past, a festival such as Fairmont is boasting this weekend is as American as apple pie. And the event is about the people of Fairmont putting on a celebration.
The rides begin tonight, the Grand Feature Parade is Thursday night, Kids’ Day and Josh Knotts & Lea, Extreme Illusions & Escapes are both Friday afternoon, and Taylor Made, the singing group from Grafton, will be performing from 8-11 p.m. Friday at the Palatine Park Amphitheater.
One of the big attractions, of course, will be the fireworks display Saturday night at 10 o’clock.
Many volunteers are working behind the scenes to make the festival a fine one. The Swearingens — Sharon and Mike — have dedicated so much of their time with their two boards to keep everything going smoothly.
It’s Three Rivers Festival time! Let’s all have a great time at the festival entering the Memorial Day holiday Monday.
What were you doing 34 years ago?
‘Pothole blitz’ badly needed service coming in West Virginia
Hopefully, the heavy snow and extremely cold weather of January, February and early March are in the past.
Remnants of the harsh winter, though, remain. They’re faced each day by the state’s drivers.
Potholes have West Virginia’s roads in their worst condition in years, and the damaging freeze-thaw cycle is not over.
‘The issues are complicated’ with e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes have been around for about seven years.
But you’d be shocked at how long the idea for the the tobacco-less product has been around.
“A primitive, battery-operated ‘smokeless non-tobacco cigarette’ was patented as early as 1963 and described in Popular Mechanics in 1965,” Megan McArdle wrote for Business Week last monty.
Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition
Coal already has a bad name in Washington, D.C.
The whole industry got another black eye this week when Alpha Natural Resources Inc., one of the country’s largest coal producers, agreed to pay a $27.5 million fine and invest $200 million to reduce illegal water pollution in five states, including West Virginia.
Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children
If a child is hurting, we wouldn’t hesitate to help.
Or would we?
In a five-year span, 22,830 children were victims of some type of neglect or abuse in West Virginia. That’s an overwhelming number to think about.
Gee makes major impact and earns another term as WVU president
Let’s imagine that a graduate from West Virginia University in the early 1980s, when E. Gordon Gee was president, came back to get an extra degree now and couldn’t believe that E. Gordon Gee is “still” the president of WVU.
Effort to encourage purchase of goods produced in U.S. deserves support
The concept of encouraging the purchase of American-made products is certainly not new.
On the federal level, the Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Herbert Hoover. It required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases.
‘Stop Meth, Not Meds’ backed by readers
In West Virginia, there is something referred to as “stop-sale technology” that prevents a person from going to more than one pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant.
It’s not an issue of stuffy noses that lawmakers were worried about when they created the system.
Even small steps play part in critical mission to reduce childhood obesity
Just two years ago, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, meaning they had excess body weight based on their height.
It’s a troubling statistic, and one that health officials have worked diligently to reverse.
Cutting-edge heart procedure at Mon General is saving lives
“I used to think I wouldn’t live to be 50. Well, I made it to 50 and then some,” Pearl Walls said.
Walls is likely alive today and able to tell her story to the Times West Virginian because of a cutting-edge procedure performed at Monongalia General Hospital — a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which was only approved for use by the FDA in 2011.
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ many works, magic words
You know his words.
You know them well.
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