Town And Country Days Opens With Ceremony
The 50th annual Town & County Days festival got underway with a sentimental opening ceremonies Monday evening.
Three of the event’s founders, Dale Bonnette, Barbara Powell, and Joe Powell, were on stage to help celebrate the golden milestone. Bonnette said they never imagined the grand event Town & Country Days has become. It was originally designed as a way to give town sponsors of the Farming For Better Living program a look at rural activities; 4-H exhibits were on display and a pit-roasted beef dinner was served.
Barbara Powell said she appreciates the hard work that goes into the fair and also offered recognition to Millie Stewart, the West Virginia University Extension secretary at the time of Town & Country Days’ inception. While Joe Powell declined to speak, Darrell Goddard, executive director, noted he had served on the board for 48 years and served in every office on the board.
Also in attendance were long-time board workers Don Collins and Bill Grimm. “Everything I’ve done has been a privilege, not a chore,” said Grimm, who began helping Noel Cochran with the event in the early 1960s and officially joined the board in 1978.
The week-long event will continue through Saturday at the Wetzel County 4-H grounds approximately three miles east of New Martinsville on state Route 7. The big stage attraction this year is country singer Darryl Worley, who will take the platform Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
Known for chart-topping hits such as “I Miss My Friend” and “Have You Forgotten?”, Worley has been a mainstay of modern country for the past 10 years.
Along with the previously mentioned number one songs, he also hit the top with “Awful, Beautiful Life”. He was in the Top 20 with the first three singles from his impressive major-label debut, Hard Rain Don’t Last-“When You Need My Love”, “A Good Day to Run”, and “Second Wind”-and followed with smashes like “If Something Should Happen”, “I Just Came Back From A War”, and the iconic “Tennessee River Run”. Most recently people might know this impressive 6’6″ artist from his single “Sounds Like Life To Me”.
Returning to the Town & Country Days stage tonight at 8:30 p.m. will be Phil Dirt and The Dozers, a favorite in years past. America’s premiere “Rock ‘N R’oldies” review (and the most popular vintage rock and roll show in the nation) helps audience members recapture those wonderful days! With their musical talent, high energy, and contagious sense of humor, Phil Dirt & The Dozers will transport you to another time and place . . . namely, the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s of rock and roll.
Friday evening the stage will be owned by some local bands beginning with the Tharp Brothers at 6:30 p.m., Coaltrain at 8 p.m., and Days Later at 9:30 p.m. Also, Barbara Lynn and The Silver Eagle Band will open for Little Texas; Hundred Miles From Nowhere for Phil Dirt & The Dozers; and Gary Shelton will do the same for Darryl Worley.
Of course Town and Country Days is much more than just stage entertainment. The track offers great events each night: Monday, demolition derby; Tuesday, ATV and motorcycle motorcross; Wednesday, truck and thrill show; Thursday, 4×4 truck pulls; Friday, 4×4 truck pulls; and Saturday, ATV and motorcycle drag races.
Daily there are commercial, home, livestock, and produce exhibits; Bingo, puppet show; chainsaw demonstration; and drawing for prizes; as well as carnival rides and games by Deshler Amusements, which are included with the price of admission. Admission is $8 per day for age five and up. Season passes are available for $30.
For a schedule of events see the advertisement on this page and for more information visit townandcountrydays.org. For more photos from the opening night see page 10A. Also, even more photos can be found online at cu.wetzelchronicle.com/galleries/index.php?id=313063.