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Street Fest gets finishing touches

By Staff | Jun 10, 2011

As the end of the month draws near, organizers of Street Fest put the finishing touches on the event that will hit downtown Shepherdstown after the popular festival didn’t happen last year.

“Everyone’s pretty jazzed for it, and (the organizers) are, too,” said Lori Robertson, president of Shepherdstown Street Fest.

Robertson said she thinks community members are especially excited about this year’s event because the previous organizer, Donn Marshall, could not coordinate last years festivities when he decided to run for office. She and Chris Stroech, vice president of Street Fest, took the task on this year.

“It’s almost a full-time job,” Robertson said. “We’ve been at this since September.”

“I think we noticed there was an obvious gap,” Stroech said. “I think it’s sort of our goal to showcase our businesses and our restaurants and our musicians in one event our town.”

And Robertson and her husband Chris Crawford said this year’s festival will feature “probably the best lineup we’ve ever had.”

Crawford and Bob Keel, local musicians, took charge on signing acts for the June 25 event.

“It was really helpful to have two musicians bringing in musicians,” Robertson said.

“We feel very fortunate to have gotten the bands that we did,” Crawford said.

Acts include Moondog Medicine Show, The Golden Butter Band, The Fox Hunt, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Paul Pfau and The Dimestore Band.

Also, this year, Robertson said, groups will perform between the half-hour breaks between the main acts on a stage behind Shepherdstown Public Library. Those groups include Gypsy Ramblers, Bob Keel and The Aveys, Todd Coyle and The Dan Tait Trio.

Robertson said the most well-attended Street Fest saw 3,000 on the streest, but this year she is hoping to see more.

“It’s been growing every year,” Crawford said.

The Shepherdstown Police Department is prepared for the influx of people that day.

Acting Police Chief David Ransom said his entire staff will be on duty that day, with two officers manning the streets on bikes.

“If need be, I can utilize other departments if it comes to that,” he said.

He added, “We want everybody to have a good time. We want everybody to be safe.”

He said in the past, traffic has been the festival’s biggest problem, but with the way organizers have streamlined the parking and traffic, he believes that situation will be alleviated.

This year, Robertson and Stroech said they rented a PanTran shuttle for the day to loop around to Shepherd University’s wellness center and White Hall parking lots to take visitors to Street Fest.

The event will also feature food and arts and crafts vendors along German Street, a wine and beer garden behind the library, a raffle and children’s activities on McMurran lawn.

Robertson said the event costs about $25,000 to organize, and all of that money she and her small team of volunteers generate themselves through sponsorships, vendor fees and beer and wine sales. Admission to the event is free.

Stroech said organizers are still accepting vendors, sponsors and volunteers to assist on the day of the event. Robertson said responsibilities include directing traffic, assisting with parking, trash pick-up and manning the beer and wine garden and merchants tent.

As the weeks wind down, organizers are excited to see their plans become a reality.

“It feels good,” Robertson said. “We all live here. We want to see everybody do well, and that’s our goal. We want to highlight Shepherdstown.”

The event will take place along German Street from 10 a.m. Until 9 p.m. June 25. GrabGreatDeals.com is the Street Fest’s title sponsor.

For more information about Street Fest or to sign up to become a volunteer, visit www.shepherdstownstreetfest.org.