The theme for this year’s Wood Festival was “Takin’
It To The Streets,” and the Wood Festival Committee, sponsors and
volunteers did just that.
Numerous events, special entertainment and
excellent weather drew large crowds to the 49th festival and made it a
The festival got underway on Thursday with
entertainment by CCCOA choir, The McCauleys, Tracey Miller, and Bound
The 1st annual Charlie Whipkey Spirit of the Wood
Festival Award was presented to Angie, Joe and Ashley Hersman for their
hard work and dedication to the Wood Festival and the community over the
past 10 years. It is named in honor of long-time Wood Festival supporter
and designer of the Wood Festival logo, Charlie Whipkey, who died Dec.
Friday’s crowd was disappointed when told that
Calhoun bluegrass legend Lester McCumbers was unable to perform due to
Fifteen contestants performed in the Calhoun Idol
contest, which was judged by CHS
band director Gina Stump, CHS
music director Eileen Marsh, and music major graduate of GSC Stephanie
Music was provided by The Karaoke Cowboys, who also
performed after the event.
The five finalists were Chelsea Hicks, Danielle
Richards, Ellie Webb, Stephanie Hall and Shannon Jones. After another
round of performances, the judges awarded first place to Chelsea Hicks,
second to Ellie Webb, and third Stephanie Hall.
Hicks is the daughter of Chuck and Gina Hicks of
Big Bend. She received a one song demo recording session at Sweetsong
The evening’s entertainment was capped with a
performance by Side FX, featuring Jeremy “Fat Boy” Houchin.
Saturday’s Kid’s Day activities had children
hopping, skipping and hula hooping, and a clown was on hand to brighten
The Grand Parade was at noon and featured parade
marshals Burl and Jean Muncy Simers, who will celebrate their 45th
wedding anniversary in July. Both are retired from the Calhoun County
school system and dedicate many hours to the citizens of the county.
The parade had queens and princesses, little
woodchucks, baseball teams, organizations, antique cars and trucks,
marching band, and one horse.
Entertainment after the parade was provided by
W.Va. Bluegrass Alliance.
Afternoon activities included a kiddie
pedal-tractor pull. With one of the tractors big enough for adults,
two Grantsville volunteer firemen were the first to challenge each
other. Rumor has it that, one day soon, a fireman will ride a bicycle
three times around the courthouse in full uniform . . . and a pink tutu.
The children had a good time vying for bragging
rights on the little tractors, and things got more interesting as the
tractors--and contestants--got bigger.
Mary Fluharty, Miss Wood Festival, completed a
“full pull” of 50 feet, as did teenager Ethan Heiney. The two faced off
in a no holds barred final pull, and Heiney managed to go 67 feet, 4
inches, to beat Fluharty, who competed in sash and tiara.
Other winners were: 0-45 lbs., Sawyer Henderson, 25
ft., 3 in.; 46-55, Icel McCray, 47 ft., 8 in.; 56-65, Austin Koon, 50
ft.; 66-75, John Watkins, 53 ft., 8 in.; 76-100, Ethan Fisher, 51 ft., 7
in.; and in the adult division, Kathy Curry defeated Brenda Bush.
In a final “exhibition,” Wood Festival treasurer
and spokes-man Jim Sullivan went less than eight feet, until assisted by
festival committee members, who pushed him over the finish line.
Sullivan said, “It takes a committee to get the job done.”
A corn hole tournament, with a prize of $100, was
won by Steve Dunn and Roger Wilson, with Charlie Richards and Bryan
Entertainment on Saturday included Stoker 7, John
Richards (who also plays with Side FX), Will Freed Band, Plan B, and
The festival closed with a fireworks display from
Pine Creek Hill.
Next year will be the 50th annual Wood Festival and
I can hardly wait to see what is in store.