By Terri Allen

 

Yes! The festival is coming to Clay, West Virginia the third weekend of September. Call your family and friends, spruce up the guest room and maybe plan a vacation day to get ready for our Clay County celebration from September 18th through September 21st. The 41st annual Clay County Golden Delicious Festival is led by Interim President Dawn Whiteley along with a team of directors, committee members and volunteers. Together, this group has spent months working out hundreds of details to bring the 2014 event to Main Street in the Town of Clay. “An Apple a Day – It’s the Clay County Way!” has been selected as this year’s theme and speaks of the agricultural pride shared by all the locals when they see a golden delicious apple; that pride comes from knowing the golden delicious apple was first discovered in Clay County, West Virginia over 100 years ago.

What’s new this year? Everyone is always excited to see what has been added to the schedule as they start seeking out festival information on the website (www.claygoldendeliciousfestival.com)and as they follow the latest posts on Facebook. Apple contests are taking center stage this year as planning is underway for an apple juggling contest, an apple stacking contest, a pie eating contest and the baking contest (pie, cake, and apple butter). Musical chairs will be a lot of fun for adults and children alike. The “Fastest Kid in Clay Race”, horseshoe and cornhole competitions are returning to the festival schedule along with the new “Pot’O-Gold” Homestyle chili cook-off (locals only/cook on site/no memberships/$5.00 entry fee). The musical stage will boast several local bands that are favorites of the festival along with a few new performers on the festival stage: The Molly Moochers, Martika and William Lake, Country Fried, Phyllis Heil, an International Whistling Champion and the Wolf Creek. As the schedule is finalized, brochures will be available in many local businesses.

The Children’s pageant has been moved to September 6th and the application deadline has been extended to August 29th. The pageant application is available on the festival website and gives the details about the competition; pageant dresses are permitted this year. If you have questions or need an application, you may call the Pageant Director, Elizabeth Taylor at 304-587-7250 or 304-389-3120.

Many new volunteers have teamed up with the Board of Directors to plan this year’s event. Casie Boggs is organizing the Vendor applications and taking calls at 304-587-7019. She is working with the Board to plan a new “One Day Only” vendor area which will be located on the southern end of Main Street. This concept began a couple of years ago allowing local artisans and farmers’ market vendors to set up in a special area to sell their goods. This year, they are taking it to the street as they work to entice local crafters. Guests love perusing through local craft booths; they often purchase gifts and souvenirs to memorialize their visit to the festival. Artisans are encouraged to call Casie for questions about this new vendor area.

“What do I have to do to be in the festival parade?” Many businesses and volunteers will hear this question in the coming days. Pam Taylor is organizing the festival parade; she can be reached at 304-651-3117. The parade application can be printed from the festival’s website; when completed, they can be dropped off to Pam at Clay Development or Taylor’s Flower & Gift shop. Keith Wray has been working on the program book ads and is finalizing those sales as of this writing.

Volunteers are the lifeline of the festival, without their dedication to work all the details the festival would not be a success. The Treasurer, Laura Scott, is working on the budget, managing donations, reviewing contracts and handling deposits as she tries to make sure every expense is covered. Dawn Whiteley and her team deserve a big pat on the back for their commitment to the continued success of this organization.

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