The Times West Virginian

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May 24, 2012

Three Rivers Festival to start today

FAIRMONT —  

The smell of cotton candy, kids’ laughter on a carnival ride and excitement from the parade are familiar memories for people who look forward to a local event that attracts many every year.
Over the years, Emily Bickerstaff has noticed another pattern with the West Virginia Three Rivers Festival: It’s growing.
As a member of the board of directors, Bickerstaff looks at the event, which is in its 33rd year, as a great opportunity for families to spend quality time together. To know the community supports it makes it even better.
“I think sometimes vacations are planned to attend and come to the area just for the festival,” Bickerstaff said. “It’s something you can take your whole family to — from ages 2 to 92. You can bring them down and there is always something going on. It’s a good family event.”
Starting today at Fourth Street and Fairmont Avenue, the event will kick off with a grand feature parade. Highlights will include veterans and military units, Marion County bands, antique cars, local and area pageant royalty, the West Virginia University Mountaineer mascot, costumed characters, police, fire and EMS departments, Scouts and more.
Following the parade will be an opening ceremony at Palatine Park at 7:30 p.m. where the new Three Rivers Festival Queen will read a proclamation that opens the festival. The Davisson Brothers will provide entertainment.
But that’s just the beginning, as Friday and Saturday promise even more fun for children, adults and families. From 4-7 p.m. Friday, the Kids Day in the Park after-school special will feature magic shows with Josh Knotts and Lea, local talent and area attractions. Exhibits will be set up for kids to tour at Palatine Park. Three winners will receive a laptop computer.
Everything, excluding the carnival, is free and open to kids ages 5 to 17.

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