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Streetfest unfazed by storms

By Staff | Jul 6, 2012

Downtown Shepherdstown escaped the storms of Friday evening with minimal damage and electrical power still intact allowing the annual Streetfest celebration to continue as planned.

While attendance was down a bit from the previous year, organizer Lori Robertson said all in all the event was great.

“We were about one-third down,” she said. “We were at the mercy of the weather and our weather was wicked,” she continued.

That lower attendance could well have been the result of the massive storms that swept through the entire state the night before wreaking havoc and causing excessive damage in many places. Downed trees and loss of power kept many folks at home while the high temperatures could have also contributed to fewer attendees.

Robertson praised the volunteers who came out, many of whom did not have electricity at home but came out anyway.

“People facing damage and those without electricity came out anyway, to help us,” Robertson said.

Vendors, Robertson said, began calling to confirm that the event was still on, and arrived with their goods in tow to offer choices to shoppers visiting the event. Up and down German Street, one could find a variety of gifts, tasty treats and even a rock wall for climbing.

Musicians played from two stages throughout the day. Despite damage to the library stage, Robertson said that a contingency plan of using a tent was put into effect and the show carried on without a hitch. While some of the bands had difficulty getting to town, she said they all made it and everything ran on time.

Robertson praised Streetfest volunteer Chris Stroech for all of his work in helping to organize and keep the festival running on Saturday.

“Chris was remarkable,” she said. “All of our volunteers are like super heroes,” she continued. She praised the efforts of all who gave of their time from directing traffic to helping clean up at the end of the day.

“We can’t pull this off without really good people and we had them,” she said.

Police Chief David Ransom reported that there were no incidents throughout the day. The town’s public works officials were on hand to help things run smoothly and assist in keeping the area clean.

Robertson said that changes made in the planning stages for this year’s event helped things run a bit more smoothly than in previous years. A change in the layout of the activities including the beer garden flowed much better than in the past, she said.

Kids games and activities were held on McMurran lawn with many folks heading out to escape their homes where no air conditioning or electricity made it unpleasant to stay.

Guests enjoyed birthday cake in the afternoon as Streetfest took the opportunity to celebrate the 250th birthday of the town’s charter.

The evening ended with the streets clean and returned to normal.

“We had the streets cleaned and opened before 10:30 p.m.,” Robertson said.

Plans for Streetfest 2013 will begin later this fall. The board of organizers will take a short break before meeting later this month to evaluate what went right and what may need improvement.

“We will start some time in September working toward next year,” Robertson said.