FAIRMONT — Downtown Fairmont will be the place to be on Saturday.
With several major holiday happenings going on — the third annual Feast of the Seven Fishes, the annual Fairmont Christmas parade, the Marion County Historical Museum open house and 100th birthday celebration, and a book signing by a local author — there will be something for everybody.
“You are missing out if you don’t go to downtown Fairmont Saturday,” said Vera Sansalone, executive director of Main Street Fairmont.
“A lot of businesses will be having open houses, some with unadvertised sales and specials.”
• The third annual Feast of the Seven Fishes Festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monroe Street.
The all-day festival is based on the graphic novel “The Feast of the Seven Fishes,” written by Marion County native Robert Tinnell, which describes the Italian practice of preparing various seafood courses for Christmas Eve.
There are 28 vendors slated for this year’s event, with attendance expected to be as high as 5,000, Sansalone said.
Entertainment will be provided by Five Guys Named Moe from Pittsburgh and Bel Duetto of Youngstown, Ohio.
The “Festival Cucina” (or festival kitchen) is a cooking demonstration and sharing of food. Tinnell and Robert Germano, author of “The Eve of Seven Fishes,” as well as a mix of Italian Americans will serve up tasty dishes for the audience during this activity.
The major paid event will be the Italian cooking school at 1 p.m., headed up by Tinnell’s wife, Shannon, for $15.
The Christmas parade will take place at 5:30 p.m. and then the festival ends with a mass led by Father Hilarion Cann at 7 p.m.
A new feature is the homemade cookie and winemaking contest. Those cost $5 each to enter and require pre-registration, which contestants may do through today.
“The feast is fast becoming Fairmont’s signature event,” she said. “It’s growing every year and attracting people from the whole North Central West Virginia area,” as well as from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland.
“The feast itself is something that Italian-Americans have practiced for many years since they immigrated from Italy, preparing nonmeat dinners for Christmas Eve in preparation of the coming of Christ.
“This can include any number of fish, not always seven. In the traditional sense, the seven different types of fishes symbolize the seven sacraments of the Catholic faith. Everybody has different dishes prepared but all are celebrating Christmas.
“This festival is important to the area because we have so many people of Italian descent. But with any nationality or culture, through the generations you lose a lot of traditions as we become more Americanized.
“That’s the appeal of the festival. It brings back a lot of those memories. The further removed we are from our heritage, the more we long to get back and relive those traditions.”
Persons attending the cooking school will be able to sample the foods and take home a copy of the recipes.
• The traditional Fairmont Christmas parade kicks off at 5:30 p.m., featuring about 100 entries, 16 floats and two Marion high school bands.
The parade used to be held on Monday nights, Sansalone said.
“Then we switched it to Saturday mornings, but a lot of people didn’t like that. Then three years ago, when the Feast of Seven Fishes started, we moved the parade to Saturday night. It actually brings more people to Fairmont for the festival.”
The parade will start at Third Street and Fairmont Avenue by the First Exchange Bank, move down Fairmont Avenue to Adams Street past judges at the courthouse, then across the High Level Bridge to disband on Merchant Street.
As usual, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus will bring up the parade.
“A parade is the epitome of Christmas, the sights and sounds and feelings that all tie into one emotion that is Christmas,” Sansalone said.
“We get to pull ourselves away from the commercialization, the malls and shopping that take away the true meaning of Christmas.”
• The Marion County Historical Society will mark its 100-year anniversary with a special program at the Marion County Museum, which will be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The program will begin at 1 p.m. with Blair Montgomery, president of Pierpont Community & Technical College, state Historical Society president Fred Armstrong, Senator Roman Prezioso, Delegate Michael Caputo, Marion County Commission president Alan Parks and Mayor Scott Sears.
Heritage music played from 2-4 p.m.
From 12:30 to 5 p.m., people will have the opportunity to “meet” a Civil War soldier as well as Mother Jones, Rev. Golden Fletcher, an Indian maiden and a belle from the past.
Tours and light refreshments will be available all day and the public is welcome.
The Telephone Museum on Monroe Street will also be open that day.
• Times West Virginian sports writer Mickey Furfari will be signing his book, “Mountaineer Memories,” from 3-5 p.m. at the Marion County Chamber of Commerce office.
E-mail Debra Minor Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAIRMONT — Downtown Fairmont will be the place to be on Saturday.
- Entertainment Today
St. Paul School of Music offering 3 summer camps
With summer break in full swing, it’s time for planned family vacations and relaxation.
But if you’re a music lover, Anne Schooley, director of the St. Paul School of Music, invites you to participate in what she calls “musication.”
Starting on June 18, one of three specialized music camps will kick off for beginners and advanced musicians alike. Guitar Camp will be held throughout the week of June 18-22 from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily. “Born to Sing” will start the week of June 25-29 from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., while “Youth Handbell Camp” will be held the week of July 9-12 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
More than 11 million children across the United States attend summer camps each year, she said.
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Rediscover Marion County for a summer full of fun
Memorial Day Weekend was the cue for families to begin thinking of and even planning those wonderful summer trips that build fond memories and shared stories for years to come.
In just a few weeks, school children will be out for the summer, giving families time to take off work and take off for all points north, south, east and west.
Listen to the music playing in your head
Summer is the perfect time for outdoor concerts. And North Central West Virginia is conveniently located amid the many venues that offer music ranging from country to pop to rock and more.
The following is a list of concerts scheduled throughout the summer in the area.
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