(Posted Sept. 4, 2015)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
New features and old traditions await those who attend this year’s Heritage Days in South Charleston. The festival is set for Sept. 26-27 in and around the historic DT&I train depot and log house on Mound Street.
Expanded hours mean more time to enjoy food, shop at vendors’ booths, listen to live music, and chat with friends and neighbors. The fun runs from 12 to 7 p.m. Saturday and 12 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
The weekend kicks off with a parade at noon on Saturday. Line-up starts at 11 a.m. at the former Colonial Stair factory at the south end of Church Street. The newly extended route travels north on Church, left on Route 42, left on Route 41, then right onto Mound Street, ending at the festival grounds. Anyone interested in taking part in the parade should contact Joe Hamilton at (937) 605-4926.
In a nod to South Charleston’s 200th anniversary this year, the parade grand marshals are Jack and Bob Buffenbarger, descendants of George Buffenbarger, the first settler in Madison Township. They are traveling from their homes in the Warren County area to be part of the festivities.
“Jack and Bob spent their elementary years in South Charleston. They attended the Catholic church. They have strong memories of their growing-up time here,” said Kim Owens, a South Charleston resident and member of the Buffenbarger clan.
Jack and Bob and their wives will ride in Model T’s to lead the parade, followed in wagons and on foot by other members of the family, some of whom are making the trip in from out of state.
Also slated for Saturday is a new festival feature—movie night. The National Trail Parks and Recreation District will set up an inflatable projection screen and show “Little Giants,” a family-friendly, sports-themed film. Showtime is whenever it gets dark outside. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.
Another new feature is a kiddie tractor pull set for 2 p.m. Sunday. Children just need to show up and sign up. Age categories are: 3-4 years old, 5-6 years old, and 7-8 years old. Entrants have a chance to qualify for a state pull.
Live music is on the schedule, too. Banjo player Glen Parks will perform at 2 p.m. on Saturday, followed at 4 p.m. by Simply Blest, a bluegrass gospel ensemble. Dulcimer players will fill the air with music at 1 p.m. Sunday, followed by area church choirs from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
As usual, food will be a big part of Heritage Days, with delicious vittles served up all weekend long. Among the offerings will be gingerbread cookies and cake, chicken and sausage sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, homemade potato salad, the American Legion’s porkchops, and the Heritage Commission’s famous ham and beans cooked over a fire.
Vendors selling various crafts and goods also will be set up both days. Anyone interested in booth space should contact Suzanne Howsmon at (937) 462-8905.
Heritage Days serves as a fundraiser for the South Charleston Heritage Commission. Money goes toward the maintenance of South Charleston’s historic opera house, log house and train depot. For more information about the commission or Heritage Days, contact Rick Burton at (937) 462-7417.