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Fun in the Sun: Skies, turnout meant success for Street Fest

By Staff | Jun 30, 2017

Chronicle photos by Toni Milbourne Crowds milled about early on German Street as Street Fest got underway.

The forecast of rain had organizers of Street Fest a bit concerned early in the week, but the sunny skies over Shepherdstown on Saturday helped assure a well-attended event.

An annual festival, Street Fest brings thousands to the small village seeking great shopping bargains from local shops as well as the nearly 70 artists and vendors who arrive early to set up.

Many of the vendors are repeat attenders at the festival. John Nickerson, of Thurmont, Maryland owns Gnarly Artly, says he has been setting up for several years. An artist and screen printer, Nickerson said he comes back because he has a lot of friends in the area.

“And,” he added, “they like my shirts here.”

Blythe Burner, who owns Lacewing Candle Company, offered her wares including candles and wax scents. This was her second year at Street Fest. In addition to festivals, Burner says her products are offered at several shops around the tri-state area.

A child-size game table sits outside of Lost Dog Coffee, giving young Street Fest attendees a place to relax and play.

Attendees flocked to the tents along German Street early in the day as they got in shopping before bands began to play at noon. The event drew singles, couples and families as there was something offered for everyone. A Kids’ Camp was once again held on the lawn of McMurran Hall offering lots of fun activities for the younger crowd. Hosted by The Light of the Child Montessori School, the camp offered arts and crafts, music, yoga and more.

Many who come to Street Fest make it an annual event. Uvilla resident Liz Beddow shared that she and her husband, Randy, come back each year. Joined by friends Jill and Brian Wilson, the couples were enjoying all of the shopping opportunities as they waited for the afternoon’s entertainment.

“Sometimes we make a whole day of it,” Liz Beddow said as her friend Jill quickly confirmed.

Husband Randy agreed although he truthfully said if it weren’t for the girls, he would probably be attending a pig roast and Jeep event.

“And I’d be with him,” laughed Brian Wilson.

Submitted photo by David Pennock Author and playwright Kara Lee Corthron held a reading and book signing at Four Seasons Books on Saturday, during Street Fest.

Proceeds from this year’s festival will be shared with two organizations that have not yet been beneficiaries of the Fest. The Shenandoah Women’s Center and Pigs Animal Sanctuary will receive funds from the profits of the festival.

Tina Branson, business administrator for the Women’s Center said that funds will be used to help those seeking assistance from the center and could provide anything from help with prescription drugs to finding any basic need.

The Center, located in Martinsburg, has outreach offices in both Jefferson and Morgan counties as well as the Women’s Shelter also in Martinsburg.

“All services are free and confidential,” Branson said. The services are extended to women, men and children who need them, she continued. More information can be found at www.swcinc.org.

Pigs Animal Sanctuary was founded in 1992. According to Executive Director Melissa Susko, the Sanctuary began as a place of refuge for miniature pigs who were purchased as pets but no longer wanted after initially bought.

“We get about 50 calls a week to take pigs,” Susko said. “People don’t realize the pigs keep growing, for up to four years,” she explained. They are really not the best pet, she said.

In addition to pigs, the Sanctuary is a haven for other “last resort” animals. Home to around 600 animals, Susko said the numbers include domestic, farm and equine animals. Animals come to the Sanctuary from all over the United States, Canada and Mexico, she said.

Tours of the Sanctuary can be scheduled for groups or individuals. More information on visiting or supporting this venue that is run completely through private donations, may visit www.pigs.org.