The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

May 9, 2013

Dogwood Festival is under way in Mullens

By Mary Catherine Brooks
Wyoming County Bureau Chief

— Mullens’ annual Dogwood Festival is under way, according to Susan England-Lord, project chairman.

The Bellamy Brothers will headline the free concerts and are scheduled to appear Saturday at 8 p.m.

Appearing on the music charts for three decades, The Bellamy Brothers’ best known hit is “Let Your Love Flow.” Other country hits include “If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body” and “Redneck Girl.”

They’ve earned nominations for numerous awards from both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.

The Itzels, a well-known contemporary gospel group, will headline today at 7:30 p.m.

The Joe Stewart Family will also perform today during the gospel concerts.

Bill and Karen Itzel are gospel singers and songwriters, who — along with their three children Jessica, Ryan, and Shannon Bailey — have now been touring for more than two decades. Bill has appeared on the Gaither Homecoming videos and has been nominated for two Grammy awards and two Dove awards.

The Joe Stewart Family is well-known to gospel music fans in the eastern United States. The pride of Wyoming County, Joe and Sharon Stewart — along with their children, son Russell and his wife Candace, daughter Misty and her husband Robert, and son Devon — are a live band, carrying a multitude of instruments that appeal to young and old alike as they perform a great variety of musical styles.

Other activities include exhibits, games, carnival rides, live music, among numerous others.

“Again, spring is in the air!” England-Lord said. “With spring 2013 comes the annual Mullens Dogwood Festival — an event for all wishing to make the best of fun times with family and friends.

“No one is too old or too young to enjoy great music, or enjoy good food from area vendors,” she emphasized. “From the mouthwatering smells of concession wonders to the thrilling screams generated from the excitement of carnival rides, crafts and exhibits too long to list, to the musical talents of various genres on our main stage — this is the Mullens Dogwood Festival.”

The events and free concerts are sponsored in part with major donations from Cliffs Natural Resources, Alpha Natural Resources, West Virginia University Extension Services, Wyoming County 4-H Leaders, Mullens Fire Department, the City of Mullens, and generous businesses in and around the area, England-Lord emphasized.

For more information about the festival, contact England-Lord, Holly Johnson, or Linda Stamper at the WVU Extension Office at 304-732-8000, extension 213.

— E-mail: mcbrooks@register-herald.com