Road closures, other logistical information released as international marching band competition nears

BUCKHANNON – In a recent announcement from the Upshur County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the agency discussed logistics as Buckhannon prepares to host the World Association of Marching Show Bands (WAMSB) competition from July 17-24. The event is expected to draw a significant influx of visitors, similar to the crowds seen during the much-loved West Virginia Strawberry Festival.

The department stated, “This may be the largest event Upshur County has ever seen.”

However, local authorities are well prepared, having spent the last 18 months diligently planning for safety and security measures in cooperation with several other agencies.

The department sought to quell rumors suggesting a possible increase in crime due to the event and assured residents that their extensive planning meetings are standard protocol for any large-scale event, including the Strawberry Festival.

The community is encouraged to contribute to the event’s success with patience and understanding, especially with the anticipated increase in traffic and unfamiliar faces in the area. Additional travel time may be necessary as several events will necessitate road closures throughout the week.

Key road closures include:

  • Monday, July 17: Main Street from Route 20 to South Florida Street, 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. for the Classic Car Show.
  • Wednesday, July 19 to Sunday, July 23: Various times and locations for Camden Avenue, Silverbells Lane, Randolph Street, Wood Street and Railroad Street.
  • Thursday, July 20: College Avenue from Meade Street to Sedgwick Street, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. for the Concert Band Adjudication at the Performing Arts Center.
  • Friday, July 21: Main Street from Route 20 to South Florida Street, 7 p.m. – midnight for the Music on Main event.
  • Saturday, July 22: The standard parade route and lineup area will be closed for the Parade of Nations starting at 10 a.m. in the lineup area and 11 a.m. along the parade route itself. The parade will line up on Camden and Pocahontas Streets. The parade will start on Marion Street, proceed to Kanawha Street, turn right onto Main Street and end at the intersection of East Main Street and College Avenue.

In addition, the community is reminded that driving around or moving traffic barricades is illegal and endangers everyone’s safety. Officers and volunteers will reopen the roads once they are safe for vehicular and pedestrian passage.

The department also highlighted the importance of extending Upshur County’s famous hospitality to our international guests, some of whom will be visiting the United States for the first time.

“Let’s show them our famous local hospitality and ensure everyone has a great time,” the department urged.

Finally, in a show of community spirit, residents are encouraged to shop local during the event, supporting the community’s economy as many local businesses plan to run special promotions for WAMSB.

The Upshur County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management reiterated their commitment to ensuring a safe, enjoyable and successful event for everyone, emphasizing the importance of community cooperation.

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