WVSF parades bring hundreds to streets of Buckhannon


BUCKHANNON — The very warm evening of Friday, May 20 marked the start of the West Virginia Strawberry Festival (WVSF) Fireman’s Parade. Fire trucks from local areas and afar came together and were displayed in proud fashion along Strawberry Lane while sirens blared and parade goers cheered.

All local fire departments were represented, including Adrian, Banks District, Buckhannon, Ellamore, Selbyville, Warren District and Washington District. Buckhannon Fire Department had several trucks, including one that carried Friendly Way Day Honorees. Buckhannon Mayor Robbie Skinner also rode atop Buckhannon Fire Department’s new engine 11, waving at the crowd. Ellamore Volunteer Fire Department Chief John Wilt was seen near the tailgate of their decorated truck, waving and smiling to all he passed. Stonewood Fire Department Engine 123 was also seen and was not the usual fire truck red, but instead was painted in W. Va. colors. A side-by-side was also traveling along Strawberry Lane with a note displaying the need for volunteers.

Many parade-goers were highly enthused with the event. They came prepared with their sunscreen and ear protection. Parade-goers also cheered to thank the firefighters for their service to the communities.

The following day was another sizzling hot celebration, as the West Virginia Strawberry Festival Grand Feature Parade traveled along Strawberry Lane. The event took place this past Saturday, May 21. The Grand Feature did not disappoint with a variety of entertainment, royalty and amusements.

During the event, local and regional marching bands were seen showcasing their talent despite the intense heat. Other entertainment included groups from out of state, who performed with instruments or dazzling dance moves. One group, Out of the Ashes: Fire and Flow Arts, had performers twirling fire lit batons and breathing fire with such. It was exciting for all who attended to see this special art in action.

WVSF Royalty was also present, as well as visiting royalty from other locations in West Virginia. Preston County’s own Queen Ceres and King Buckwheat were seen gracefully waving to the crowd. All the floats carrying royalty and other participants were elaborate and beautifully crafted.

Additionally, the Grand Feature parade hosted a variety of antique cars. Many of the cars travelled along, with the chrome shining brightly in the sunlight. Amusing characters were also present from Osiris Klowns, who trolled along in small cars and handed out stuffed animals to young children. There were also some “scary” characters present from Maniac Mountain.

Overall, the Grand Feature parade lived up to its name and was certainly grand in entertainment!

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