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Good Vibes, Good Time

By Staff | Jun 16, 2017

Photos courtesy of Shepherdstown Street Fest Locals and out-of-towners alike enjoy the sights, sounds, moods and tastes of previous Shepherdstown Street Fests.

The last Saturday of June has become a time of anticipation and excitement for the citizens of Shepherdstown, and the surrounding area. This year is no different as the annual Street Fest descends upon downtown June 24 the showcase the unique and artistic side of the town.

More than 70 artisan vendors and nine musical acts taking over two separate stages will fill the streets and air with the sounds fun and good vibes.

“There are nine bands throughout the day, providing continuous music. They start at noon and end promptly at 8:30 p.m.,” said Bob Keel, the president and main stage coordinator for Street Fest. “Black Masala will headline the main stage and they have a funky and fun sound that merges many styles.”

According to Keel, Street Fest is an opportunity for Shepherdstown to shine.

“We want to showcase the weirdness and goodness of Shepherdstown. In 2012, we decided to give what we could back to the community. Street Fest exists for the community to get together for a good time,” Keel said.

While the goal of Street Fest is for members of the community to have a good time, Keel said there is a philanthropic aspect as well.

“Proceeds go to two local charities. One charity has to be local to Shepherdstown and the other is regional,” Keel said. “Our five-member board decides on who to give the proceeds to each year. We try to give to different folks each year.”

This year’s proceeds will be donated to PIGS Animal Sanctuary and the Shenandoah Women’s Center, according to Keel.

While Street Fest is only one day, it is one packed out event – literally.

“From Church to Princess (streets) is where the action is. We usually get 4,000 to 8,000 people who turnout,” Keel said. “On a good, sunny day we get lots of folks. Street Fest is rain or shine though, we have done it in the rain, and people still come out.”

Street Fest also affords an opportunity for young and rising musicians to showcase their talents in the community.

“The Library Stage will have the Young Artist Series as a headliner this year, which is put together by Dominic Valentine who brings kids from the area to perform with professional local musicians,” Keel said.

Apart from the local artisans and musicians, Street Fest boasts a beer garden, which includes well-known domestics and wine selection. This year’s beer garden will be showcasing brews from Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Virginia.

Street Fest also includes something for the wee Shepherdstown residents in the form of a kids’ camp put on by The Light of the Child (TLC) Montessori School on McMurran Hall Lawn from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The kids’ camp includes yoga, face painting and music provided by Mike Kell. The camp is free and open to all ages.

Rain or shine, Street Fest will kickoff Saturday, June 24 from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and is free to the public. There will also be a free shuttle service starting at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 9 p.m.

“I expect to have a good time, everyone seems to have a good time every year – even when it has rained,” Keel said. “So, wear some sunscreen and bring an umbrella; we have everything else for a good time covered.”

“Shepherdstown Street Gest couldn’t happen without the support of our wonderful sponsors, volunteers, the town, and the local business (many of whom are also sponsors). This is truly a neighborhood affair, and something in which Shepherdstown in particular excels. All this to say, speaking for the Board of SSF and myself, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude to the all of our partners, because we truly couldn’t do it with out their help,” he concluded.