Family activities, entertainment downtown this weekend
by Kate Evans
The Morgan County Expo returns with an assortment of family fun this Friday, August 6 and S
aturday, August 7. The two-day event includes entertainment, food, information booths and family activities and will take place rain or shine.
This year’s Expo is on a smaller scale and in a different format than ever before, said West Virginia University Morgan County Extension Agent Cindy Smalley.
The Morgan County Fair Board partnered with the Chamber of Commerce, the Morgan County Partnership and other organizations to plan the Expo. Friday night’s event is a collaboration with the town’s First Friday night.
Friday Family Fun Night
First Friday Family Fun Night will be held at the Morgan County Courthouse parking lot from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
A watermelon-eating contest is set for 6:30 p.m. Disc jockey Justin Litten will be playing music and the Young Ukes will perform at 7 p.m. Charlotte’s Café and Mitch’s Kettle Corn will have food at their stands.
Some 12-15 county youth organizations will have booths with hands-on family activities, Smalley said. The 4-H Clubs will have stomp rockets and a boat activity, the Girl Scouts are planning a scavenger hunt and the Boys and Girls Club will paint faces.
Other youth organizations that will have booths and activities include the Boy Scouts, Black Cat Music, the Cacapon Kids After School program, the Morgan Arts Council, the Morgan County Partnership, Early Head Start and the Morgan County Public Library.
The Mountain State Cruisers will have their car show at Berkeley Springs State Park on Friday night.
Morgan County youth artists will be selling their handmade art in the park.
Since the county is just coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus is for families to come out to see what’s going on in Morgan County and join organizations or programs if interested, Smalley said. There are many new families in the county, she noted.
A paper directory will be available at the Expo that lists youth organizations, community organizations, civic groups and small local businesses.
The Morgan County Expo will take place Saturday, August 7 from 12:00 noon until 5 p.m. at Berkeley Springs State Park.
CNB will be sponsoring free swimming and free snow cones from 12:00 noon until 2 p.m., Smalley said. The Lions Club will be offering free hot dogs while they last.
Saturday’s entertainment offers live music from the Tri-State Ukeclectics Uke Club from 12:00 noon-1:30 p.m. and Tim Seals and Lori Krebs from 1:30 p.m.-4 p.m.
Saturday’s booths are more for adults and include the Lions Club, the Master Gardeners, Warm Springs Watershed Association, Sleepy Creek Watershed Association, Black Cat Music, the Morgan County Farm Bureau, Life or Drugs and Tri-State Community Health Center.
Smalley said vendors will have something fun and hands-on for people to do at their table.
The Farm Bureau will set up a corn sandbox in a small pool where kids can play with little toy tractors and cows.
Saturday is also an opportunity for small local businesses to have a booth or for people to do arts and crafts. Some of the teens may offer their art in the park on Saturday, too.
Saturday’s Expo will wrap up at 5 p.m. in time for the Morgan Arts Council’s Summer Concert in the park that starts at 5:30 p.m. Saturday’s concert is singer-songwriter and violinist Deni Bonet with singer-guitarist Chris Flynn.
Smalley said this year’s Morgan County Expo will be very low-key. The county didn’t start to open up from the pandemic until mid-March and April and it was late when they decided to have the Expo. Organizers had two and a half months to pull together an early August event.
“It’s all about having a location and the volunteers to pull it off,” Smalley said.
Smalley said that the Senior Life Services building was out as a possible Expo location because its indoor space is full. Fortunately, having the Expo events at the County Courthouse parking lot and Berkeley Springs State Park worked out.
Cake auction, exhibits
There won’t be a 4-H cake auction this year due to logistics-there’s nowhere to store the cakes, Smalley said. The group may hold the 4-H cake auction during Apple Butter Festival weekend instead.
4-H Club members’ exhibits will be on display in the windows of various businesses in town as will Boys and Girls Club members paintings. 4-H Club member exhibits have already been judged and winners will have their ribbons displayed on their exhibit. Boys and Girls Club members will receive participation ribbons.
There won’t be the usual exhibits and judging of baked goods, garden products, flowers, needle work, arts and crafts, photography and more from county residents.
Smalley said there wasn’t anywhere to store and display them. She hoped that next year they would be able to open up the Expo for people’s exhibits.
Smalley noted that a lot of her volunteers are getting older. Having enough hands for the Expo has been challenging.
“We can always use more volunteers,” Smalley said.