Ronceverte plans new summer festival event

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A new, potentially annual, event will join the ranks of activities filling the summer months in Greenbrier Valley if Tammy Rhodes has anything to say about it.

Rhodes, who is Main Street Ronceverte’s program manager, has conceived of a plan to close off Edgar Avenue from traffic and hold a sidewalk craft festival this summer on Saturday, July 22. So far, she has secured three bands, including the Half Bad Bluegrass Band, for the all day festival and has enlisted several craft and food vendors to participate. During the Monday night city council meeting, she assured the council there will be plenty of entertainment for the kids, like bounce houses and a petting zoo. Beneficiaries of the event will be the Ronceverte and Greenbrier Valley food pantries, Rhodes said.

By stringing festival events together, Rhodes hopes to keep the momentum going to help make people visiting the area aware that “this town has a lot of potential.” The momentum she’s referring to is Ronceverte’s annual River Festival in June and the Polar Bear Plunge, to be held this year for the first time at Island Park in March. Parties interested in participating with a booth or table for arts and crafts, food or entertainment are invited to contact the Ronceverte Development Corp. at 304-647-3140.

With the announcement of the upcoming Polar Bear Plunge event, council member Bob Baker said this might be an opportunity for Main Street Ronceverte to contribute to the event in a way that encourages the organizers to continue to hold the event in Ronceverte. In previous years, the Plunge has drawn large crowds at Blue Bend Recreation Area. Rhodes said she would contact event organizer Christian Giggenbach.

In other news:

  • Dunn Engineering consultant Eric Hartwell continues to provide council updates on the progress of the new waste water plant. Now that the concrete walls of the basins are up, he said, equipment is being installed, and soon, the aluminum domes will cap the two basins. The plant will start receiving sewage in 60 to 90 days as the first of three starting phases of the treatment plant. Installation of walkways and railings will make traversing around the basins a lot easier, Hartwell said.

“It’s exciting to watch the development,” said Mayor David Smith. “It’s been a long process.”

  • Donations for Ronceverte’s Christmas decorations fund have slowed down in recent weeks, but funding is still needed. Notices will be resubmitted to the media to let the community know the River City is still seeking funding to replace the outdoor Christmas decorations lost in the June flood.
  • City Administrator Reba Mohler said the city is preparing for the 2017 municipal election in which three seats on the city council will be open. The council approved Diane Morgan and Sue Hedrick to serve as the ballot commissioners. Candidacy filing begins on March 7 and ends on April 4 for the June 6 election.
  • Police Chief J.R. Byer, in submitting a summary report of the department activities for the year 2016, cited over 3,500 calls for the year. Byer said arrests and citations for 2016 were down compared to the year prior.
  • Fire Chief Mike Campbell was reelected by his peers at the Ronceverte Volunteer Fire Department.
  • Council member Gail White said volunteers are needed to help with the preparations for the River Festival set for the second weekend in June. Call Ronceverte City Hall for more information.