The Times West Virginian

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July 10, 2014

Helping the United Way ... the musical way

Annual HAM Festival promises fun for a good cause

FAIRMONT — Heston Farm Winery and the United Way of Marion County have teamed up for the third year for the Heston Arts and Music Festival.

While the HAM Festival has little to do with meat — although there will be a few ham-themed food options, including “hog wings” — it has a lot to do with the community.

All proceeds from admission fees will go directly to the United Way to benefit its 21-member agencies that help Marion County citizens in need by providing people with food to counseling to educational and income support, said Tiffany Samuels, the organization’s executive director.

“The Hestons are a wonderful family ... They have had ongoing activities to benefit the United Way over the past four years,” she said. “This just really fits in with their vision on giving back to the community and expanding their business.”

Festivities begin at 5 p.m. Friday and last until midnight, and then gates open at 11 a.m. Saturday and are open until midnight.

Music starts at 6 p.m. Friday with Pam O’Dell and New Old Diesel, followed by Soup Camel Music at 7 p.m. and Shadrach at 9 p.m.

On Saturday, Fairmont State University’s Academy for the Arts Summer Music Program performers will take the stage at noon, followed by Mike and Dave Almost Unplugged at 1:30 p.m. and the Brother Short Band at 3:30 p.m. The Ultimatums will play at 5:30 p.m., and then Miss Freddye and Her Band will take the stage at 7 p.m., followed by the Dennis McClung Blues Band at 9 p.m.

“You’ve got the complete spectrum of music here, covering country and bluegrass and rock ’n’ roll and blues — it’s all there,” said John Provins, events director for Heston Farm. “There’s about 18 vendors coming, and these vendors are all artists or craftsmen ... these people create what they are selling, and some of them will even be working their craft right there in front of you.”

Vendors include Art-C by Nancy, Pop Can Airplanes and Whirligigs, the Tea Shoppe, West Virginia Coal Jewelry and Wild ’n Wonderful Crafts, among many others.

Various food options will also be available.

The event is family friendly and will offer children’s activities on Saturday, courtesy of the West Virginia Army National Guard Family Readiness Group. Kids can play games including Lucky Duck, which offers prizes to those who find a duck with a star on the bottom, a Treasure Dig and Ball Toss, among others.

There will also be face painting, a craft table and a tattoo station for children.

Provins is a Fairview native and wanted to create a yearly event based around the community because he remembers members of his community coming together and contributing one way or another, all for the sake of unity and fun, he said.

He approached Samuels and the United Way three years ago to start the HAM Festival.

“The United Way helps out so many people,” Provins said. “I approached them to partner with us to make a community event ... The cool thing about this is we get to showcase local talents, whether it be musicians or artists.”

Admission is $10 per day for adults and $5 for children under 12. A two-day pass is also available for adults for $17.

For more information, call the United Way at 304-366-4550 or visit Heston Farm’s Facebook page.

Email Chelsi Baker at cbaker@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @cbakerTWV.

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