BBQ Bash organizers deliver keys to FETC students who will design unique mobile for Upshur County’s first-ever art car parade

BUCKHANNON – Students at the Fred W. Eberle Technical Center can officially start creating an ‘art car,’ for the upcoming Almost Heaven BBQ Bash art car parade.

The Almost Heaven BBQ Bash board of directors dropped off the vehicle they obtained for the project at Fred Eberle Dec. 1.

The project was announced in September, shortly after Jody Light, president of the Almost Heaven BBQ Bash Board of Directors, announced the Bash would be returning to Buckhannon.

“We enjoy the barbecue, but when we moved back to Buckhannon, we had to have a ‘wow’ factor, and an art car parade gets the arts community involved as a whole new demographic of people,” Light said. “Those who love barbecue are always here, but now these are folks who hopefully enjoy and appreciate good art, and you can take a bike, a car, a truck, a bus, a moped, a four-wheeler, a golf cart, just about anything that moves and create your own expression of art. We are really excited about this new element of the barbecue.”

The board was inspired by the art car parade that takes place in Houston, Texas while planning for its two-day barbecue competition and festival, which is slated for Friday, June 16 and Saturday, June 17, 2023, in the City of Buckhannon. The parade features vehicles that have been revamped and decorated, creating a moving piece of art.

“This car will be our mascot; we hope to take it to other events, but it will be unveiled June 16 during the BBQ Bash’s first art car parade,” Light said. “All the schools will be designing their own art cars whether those are cardboard or bicycles, and those schools will have their own competitions, and hopefully many parades and then the schools can select the representative of their school, and they will be in the art car parade.”

Zade Woody, a senior at Buckhannon-Upshur High School in the collision repair course, said he was looking forward to the project and already had a design idea.

“The one idea we’ve been talking about is making it look like a pig, but we’re going to be revamping it, give it a little makeover and make it look pretty,” Woody said. “It gives us a great opportunity to practice more with painting, repairing – anything that needs to be done – and I think it’ll be a good time for everybody.”

FETC director Rebecca Bowers-Call said she loved the idea when the board approached her about the collaboration.

“We are very happy to partner with the Almost Heaven BBQ Bash; it’ll be the first time we’ve ever done anything like this, and I think the first time in West Virginia,” Bowers-Call said. “We’re here today with our collision repair program, and we have several students who are going to be involved in spearheading this project and coming up with some great ideas to turn this car into something that will be a whole lot different at the end of the school year.”

Light and Bowers-Call are aiming to have the car completed by the end of the academic school year in May of 2023. The event will also feature vehicles from Houston, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Mississippi and Florida.

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