Chamber of Commerce dinner, Children’s Fest and Truck Fest are all a go in 2021

BUCKHANNON – From the annual Chamber of Commerce dinner to the return of Children’s Fest, the city’s Consolidated Public Works Board approved a handful of happenings during its most recent meeting last week.

The Consolidated Board approved several upcoming events at its July 22 meeting, including the 2021 edition of Riverfest and the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards dinner. Kevin Campbell, organizer of Riverfest, requested usage of the Elizabeth J. ‘Binky’ Poundstone Memorial Riverwalk, the basketball courts, the parking area and the boat launch ramp for this year’s festivities, slated for Aug. 28, 2021.

“We will have live entertainment, and we will have presentations relating to water and conservation,” Campbell said. “This is a celebration of the tremendous resources that we have here in town and an acknowledgement of how fragile it is. We liked to get the city involved in the past by doing virtual and actual tours of the water plant.”

Campbell said they will not have a kayaking company available to enable kayakers to float down from the Hampton boat ramp to the Buckhannon River access point at the Riverwalk this year. However, kayakers may still complete the float if they can find transportation out to Hampton.

“I’ve talked to a number of people who, even if they’re not kayaking, are coming with pick-up trucks, so there might be some volunteers that will transport kayaks for those who can provide their own,” Campbell said. “Another difference this year is that Dr. Stankus (Dr. Sara Stankus, Upshur County Superintendent of Schools) is getting involved with the contest for students, and I don’t know exactly what the contest is, but Mountain Lakes Preservation Alliance will be putting up some really nice prizes.”

Along with another prize, the winner of the yet-to-be-determined contest will receive a plaque dedicated to the late April Pierson-Keating, a fierce environmental champion and advocate for protecting clean water sources, who passed away after a long battle with cancer in September 2019.

“It will be done as a memorial to April Keating, who started the event, and the grand prize winner will receive a plaque that says, ‘April Pearson Keating Water Warrior Award,’” Campbell said.

The Consolidated Public Works Board also approved a request from the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce to have their annual dinner at Jawbone Park for the first time.

“The Chamber wants to have a dinner in Jawbone Park September the 23rd, and I think the rain date is September 28th,” Buckhannon mayor Robbie Skinner said. “The committee began meeting in my office on Tuesday of this week, and CJ (Rylands), Pam (Bucklew), Shawn (Harris) with the Event Center, and Lisa (Wharton) from the hospital have all been down to walk Jawbone to get an idea where these tables could be, where the food and entertainment could be, and lighting and just talking about logistical challenges because we haven’t had this kind of an event in Jawbone.”

The board also approved a request for back-to-back family-friendly festivals in mid-September, Truck Fest and Children’s Festival Events, which are scheduled for Sept. 17-18.

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