By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian
Several towns and cities in Marion County are gearing up for this year’s Fourth of July celebrations, and each year, hundreds of residents come out on the holiday to celebrate America’s independence.
But there are also people behind the scenes who have been working for months to plan and organize the upcoming events.
One Mannington resident is getting ready for the first Fourth of July event she has helped with.
Stephanie Teets, postmaster at the Mannington Post Office, said she was asked at the 2012 Fourth of July celebration to help run this year’s event.
“I said yes and we started meeting on July 5 of last year to plan the event for this year,” Teets said. “The first thing we did was sit down and decided what we wanted to do as far as the entertainment, what we liked from last year, and what we needed to add to this year.”
Teets said she has enjoyed working with the committee to put together such a great family-oriented event celebrating the red, white and blue.
“I like anything that has to do with our town,” she said. “It’s a good group of people to work with.”
Growing up in Mannington, Teets has always loved being involved with the community and everything the city has to offer.
“Being on the committee, it’s giving back to the community that has taken care of us when we were kids,” she said.
Last year, she was part of the Fourth of July celebration by helping the Girl Scouts with their stand and the Gone But Not Forgotten Heroes organization.
“I was kind of doing the dual thing last year,” Teets said.
Teets and the committee have been working hard year-round to make Mannington’s Fourth of July celebration better than ever. This year they have already held an elimination dinner to raise funds for the event.
“It was to raise money to do bigger and better fireworks,” Teets said. “We were looking to get something bigger and draw more people in.”
One unique feature this year’s celebration will have is the West Virginia Vietnam Veterans Mobile Wall.
“It’ll be there on Saturday and Sunday at Hough Park,” Teets said. “It’s going to be guarded 24 hours a day while it’s there.”
As Teets helps plan the city’s celebration, she also makes sure those who come into the Post Office are welcomed by the colors red, white and blue. The postmaster decorates the inside and outside of the Post Office, depending on the holiday.
“I do it for every holiday,” Teets said. “It makes the Post Office welcoming, I think, and gives it a little holiday spirit.”
Teets has always loved living in Mannington, but left when she worked in Morgantown and Fairmont. Luckily, a position opened in Mannington that allowed her to come home to her roots.
“When the job to be postmaster opened up here, it wasn’t a choice,” Teets said. “I didn’t hesitate to apply for that job.”
Teets likes the fact that she can work in Mannington because she gets to see people she knows every day and interact with them.
Email Emily Gallagher at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.