By Tina Alvey
The Rainelle centennial celebration drew to a close Saturday with a day of events that brought to mind a good, old-fashioned country social.
After a morning devoted to a grand parade, the focus moved to activities at the Depot lot at Park Center.
The open field was dotted with colorful tents filled with flea market finds and beautifully hand-crafted decorative pieces, while tempting aromas of funnel cakes and corn dogs wafted from a food truck and children shrieked with glee as they caromed around inside a bouncy house. Add in the distinctive wail of a vintage fire truck’s siren, and the ambiance was complete.
Lanie Jones of the Sewell Mountain Sailing Association of West Virginia enjoyed the day, which she spent promoting her organization’s upcoming Mountain Mama Hospice Regatta.
Set for Aug. 24 and 25 at Battle Run on Summersville Lake, the regatta is designed to raise funds for Hospice of Southern West Virginia as well as provide a day of family-friendly fun, Jones noted.
“This will be our third year raising money for Hospice,” the Danese native explained. “We set up little games for the kids and have string bands. People can play cornhole if they want.”
Jones said everyone is welcome to watch the sailboats race or to try their skills on the paddleboard.
“I’m supposed to learn how to sail this year,” she said, laughing.
For more information on the Sailing Association, visit www.soapysails.webs.com.
Just across the grassy field from the association’s boat-bedecked informational booth, the West Virginia University Woodsmen were offering demonstrations of such skills as crosscutting and underhand chops. By 1 p.m., their area was well-carpeted with fresh sawdust and fragrant wood chips.
Among the Woodsmen on hand were Erin Vorholt, a senior horticulture/ag business major, and Trey Reese, a senior forest management major. Both have been competing in wood sports since they first began attending WVU.
“We do different events — demonstrations like this one and competitions,” Vorholt said.
Reese added that the local kids attending the centennial celebration Saturday were enjoying the opportunity to try their hands at the crosscut stand.
At least one vendor traveled from Fayetteville to set up at Saturday’s flea market, not far from the Woodsmen’s tent.
Mona Goodall, owner of Pear Tree Arts & Garden at Dove’s Outlet Village, pointed out that all of her wares are hand-made, including delicate pottery, coal mining memorabilia and glass art pieces etched with familiar scenes from the region.
“I made some pieces just for this festival,” Goodall commented, indicating decorative dishes that began life as bottles but now bear images of Rainelle’s famous Meadow River Lumber Company on their flattened surfaces.
WVU logos were evident at the Pear Tree booth, as well as at several others along flea market row, where a smaller amount of Marshall University merchandise competed for space.
The celebration, marking the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of Rainelle, was scheduled to wrap up Saturday night with a free concert by Steele Country Band.
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