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Streetfest cometh

By Staff | Jun 28, 2013

Shepherdstown is gearing up and ready to welcome Streetfest 2013 on Saturdya, June 29. Hundreds are expected to flood the streets of Shepherdstown to enjoy vendors, bands, food and more. The event opens to the public at 10 a.m. and closes down at 8 p.m.

Event organizer Lori Robertson explained that craft vendors are juried and accepted into the celebration. Vendors can be placed along the event route while leaving space for local stores and restaurants to set up outside if they so choose. Food vendors are set in a food court, specifically so they don’t interfere with local restaurants reaching out to attendees.

The event leads to the closing of several streets in the immediate downtown area. Parking for the event, Robertston shared, is offered by Shepherd University. All of the campus parking lots will be available for the day’s event. Maps of the event area are available on the website and will be handed out the day of the event. Police Chief David Ransom reminds all town residents that no parking will be allowed on German Street between Church and Princess beginning at 3 a.m. Saturday morning.

Crafters and sound experts will converge on the town beginning as early as 6 a.m. preparing for the start of the day. Volunteers will be out to direct them to the correct spots which Streetfest organizers have marked along German Street.

Two stages are set for the entertainment of the day. Several bands have been booked for both the main stage and the library stage. Names and times can be found at the link on the Streetfest website.

Among those performing on either the Main Stage or the Library Stage are the Hillbilly Gypsies, The Woodshedders, Christian Lopez and Joe Taxi and Big Leg Emma.

Also performing will be Johnny Neel, a former member of the Allman Brothers Band, who will be on stage at 3:45 p.m.

In an interview this week via telephone from Nashville, Neel said that he loves to come to Shepherdsotwn.

“I have family in that area and just like to come there,” he said. Neel has played many times at the Opera House.

Born in Delaware, shared that he had his first single at the age of 12. According to his website, as an adult, the Johnny Neel Band had a strong following up and down the East Coast and released two well-received independent albums; “One Hot Night& “You Shoulda’ Been There”. Neel moved to Nashville, the premiere song writing city, in 1984. Where he immediately became recognized a session “A” studio player. Others began to notice Neel’s songwriting talent and decided to take advantage by recording his songs on their albums.

Neel’s songs have been recorded by such artist’s as “Montgomery/Gentry, Delbert McClinton, John Mayall, John Louis Walker and many others.

Neel is a recipient of the “Life Time Achievment Award” from the 2012 Grammy’s with his work with the Allman Brothers.

Neel will have his newest CD, “Every Kinda Blues” available at Streetfest.

Kid’s Camp, offered by sponsoring Morgan Academy, will offer all types of activities for youngsters including musicians, a magician, crafts, kid’s yoga and more. Held on the lawn of McMurran Hall, kids camp requires that parents accompany their children at all times. Hours for the Kid’s Camp are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission and activities are free of charge.

Streetfest names nonprofit organizations each year to benefit from the funds raised by the event, one regional and one local. This year, the beneficiaries will be Bethany House (Community Networks, Inc.). CNI is a private, nonprofit organization serving Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties. It provides an emergency safety net through a wide range of assistance, including transitional housing for up to 32 women and children and emergency financial assistance.

The local donation will go to Good Shepherd Caregivers, a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization founded in 1990 serving a more caring community in Jefferson County. They reach out to our older or disabled neighbors in need, filling the gaps left by formal support services.

For any additional details involving this year’s Streetfest celebration, visit www.shepherdstownstreetfest.org.