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Street Fest– it could never happen without help

By Staff | Jul 17, 2015

It’s easy to produce a festival for a sunny day. We didn’t have that luxury this year. It was nice and cool June 27th but the rain did indeed come down. The wettest day of the year I believe it has been said. Early on you came out with your umbrellas and braved the rain, and it was delightful watching the kids jump and splash in our many puddles. It did clear off around 3:30, and Shepherdstown and its visitors didn’t disappoint; you came out in droves the last several hours, and for that, we thank you!

We start in September culminating at 5am, the last Saturday of June, from marking streets, hanging the signs, and erecting the beer fencing, to thanking everyone at 8:30pm. It took us approx. 60 minutes to clean up this year-never ceases to amaze me, the streets were open by 9:30pm allowing cars to park. Great job everyone!! We have always been an organized group, but this year was awesome! The stress of the 24 hours leading up to the event was intense, as we knew the rain was coming. A special thanks to Chris Crawford, Larry Cumbo of the Opera House, and Jamie Welsh of Welsh Sound and his crew for saving the Main Stage. Bob Keel, Earth Vibe Productions and Mark Shields of the Community Club for getting the Library Stage Bands on the first floor, and the Morgan Academy Kids’ Camp on the second floor. Again, all of this happened Friday night and very early Saturday morning. The children had a blast, and all of the bands played on time and they did not disappoint amazing!

The organizers do this event at great sacrifice, to our sanity and free time! A special thanks to the significant others for allowing us the time and effort to pull this off-you know who you are.

Chris Stroech Vice-President & Treasurer – is always a work-horse; taking care of the legal end of things, all permits, licenses, contracts, scheduling, admin, sponsors, communication, PR, beer, calming influence every aspect, I can’t even list it all here.

Jim Ford is the most patient man on the planet. He manages our web site with me feeding him information, often several times a day. I’d often pull up the site 2-3 hours later and there it was!

Cynthia Fraula-Hahn Secretary with the help of Amy Childers, our fearless taker of the minutes and writer of every thank you letter that went out. And, there were a lot!

Chris Crawford Main Stage Coordinator with the help of Anthony Bonitz and Evan Whalen, is the one to thank for the Main Stage acts playing to a packed Opera House, and what a line up it was this year all festival bands, all so good. No one disappointed!

Bob Keel Library Stage Coordinator – once again filled the Library Stage with our local talent and they kept up the pace entertaining the crowd in the standing room only Community Club!

I have to thank the bands for being so flexible at a moments notice: MS The Reckoning, Christian Lopez Band, Mike Westcott Band, The Johnny Neel Band, and Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band. LS Herb & Hanson, Mink’s Miracle Medicine, The Plate Scrapers, and The Reckless Island. The bands cooperated fully with our time slots, getting on and off the stages on time with signals from Chris and Bob. They were a delight to work with!

Thanks to Jamie Welsh and Chris of Welsh Sound running sound for the Main Stage, doing a sound check in 35 minutes, and Todd Coyle with Earth Vibe Productions for bringing their stage, and running sound again. Both did an awesome job!

Thanks to Doug Vaira with Domestic for Pre-Party and to Larry Cumbo with Opera House LIVE for hosting the Official After-Party.

Tina Larrick Beer Garden Coordinator she made sure the beer truck ran like clockwork, and it did! She made sure ID’s were checked, and all areas were covered. And she did it looked sporty in her raincoat! ABC was onsite and we had no issues.

Bill Lukens Maintenance Coordinator with the help of Jason Hinerman and Grayson Topping, took care of the erecting/taking down the Beer Garden fence, and the fence on McMurran lawn Friday that we didn’t need. He coordinated with the Public Works employees for the trash cans/recycling, and much more.

Dolores Nichols Volunteer Coordinator – with the help of Stephanie Shields, and Erin Greely who was invaluable, was our tireless organizer of our 50 volunteers and made everything seem effortless Saturday. This is a tough job, as many don’t sign up to volunteer until a week before.

Sarah Poland – Kids’ Camp Coordinator – with Bernadine Somers (Morgan Academy and Nancy Craun with GoBlueRideTravel/Shenandoah Valley Kids Trail) along with their own volunteers kept our youngest festivalgoers happy in the Morgan Academy Kids’ Camp all day in the Community Club. They had hundreds of kids enjoying themselves!

Bernie Somers – Title Sponsor and Sponsor Coordinator Morgan Academy has been our Title Sponsor for the last three years! Bernie also helped with getting sponsors, and again sponsoring the Morgan Academy Kids’ Camp.

Grayson Topping Marketing Coordinator – helped us with marketing, distribution of materials, and general helping hand.

Mike Zagarella Set-Up Coordinator (superman) along with standouts Brian Palank and Michelle Fournier, making sure our vendors know exactly where their spot was, how to get off of the street, and where to park, even though they are supposed to know already. And they did with rain dripping off of their smiles. Mike helped tremendously with marking the streets and creating a wonderful map for the vendors.

Bonn Poland updates the map for the flyer, and the interactive maps for the web site showing our retailers, restaurants, vendors, parking options, Pan Tran routes/stops, restrooms, Food Court, Beer Garden, Kids’ Camp, First Aid Station, ATM’s and our information booth. He and Jim Ford are the wizards!

All of the artisans/food vendors on the street, with the magnificent help of Jillian Emmerich (wonder woman), maintaining the Face Book page and feeding info to Jim Ford for the website that was me. Plus, sponsors, admin, PR, marketing, fire puter-outer, and announcer extraordinaire!

Our volunteers were invaluable. Everyone who came were on time and courteous to our visitors and helped showcase our town in the pouring down rain. Many put in more time than they originally signed up. And to the Boys/Girls Club for braving the rain. We need to single out some volunteers: Toni Milbourne, Catherine Wilson, Sue Kennedy, Chris Palank, Molly Kramer, Erin Murphy, Brian Eddy, James Vigil, Al & Shelia Vertino, the bartenders, and so many more-THANK YOU!

Thank you to Mayor Auxer (who poured beer that afternoon-again), the Corporation of Shepherdstown, the Town Council and the residents for allowing us to hold this event in the middle of our small town. The Shepherdstown Police Department for blocking off the streets, and for keeping our town safe. We had no major issues from anyone that day or night. Thank you Frank Welch, Public Works Director, Billy and Ernie, and the incredible staff. You could walk outside at 9:30pm and it was spic and span.

Street Fest has to generate ALL of it’s funds to put on this event and depending on how much we make, we hold some back for start up costs, and donate in the name of our local 2015 charity Shepherdstown Day Care, and our 2015 regional charity CASA Court Appointed Special Advocates, and the Shepherdstown Fire Dept. Announcements will be made soon.

Our sponsors this year were amazing:

Our Title Sponsor, Morgan Academy, was a great partner every step of the way and we are so grateful to Bernie Somers.

Our On-Line Marketing Sponsor GoBlueRidgeTravel.com was fantastic to partner with-thanks Nancy Craun!! Also, to Shenandoah Valley Kids Trail for sponsoring the Kids’ Camp.

Platinum Sponsors Arnold & Bailey, PLLC , Bavarian Inn, Bubba, Willie and Ann Bloom, Downstream to Wellness-Capstone Method, The Journal, The Local Source, MuirFord Consulting, Ours, Lawyer, Lewis & Co., PLLC, Shepherd University, and Shepherdstown Chronicle.

Gold Sponsors Jefferson Distributing, and Opera House LIVE

Silver Sponsors Arden Equipment Repair, Bath Fitter, Buyer’s Guide, Bonn A. Poland, IV, Child Guide Magazine, Contemporary American Theater Festival, Cress Creek, Friends of SkyTruth, Geostellar, Jefferson Security Bank, Leaf Filter, Mad Tea Party Jam 4, Mountain View Solar & Wind, LLC, The Observer, Brian J. Palank, D.D.S., Paragon Title Co, PLLC & Law Firm, Progressive Printing, Remodel USA, Shepherdstown Community Club, Skinner Law Firm, United Bank, and The Valley Revue.

Bronze Sponsors AC&T Portable Restrooms, Associated Oral & maxillofacial Surgeons, Ben Mann Electrical Services, Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, John Christman -Coldwell Banker, Earth Vibe Productions, Four Seasons Books, Hair Art, HFI Wealth Management, Jason Hinerman Master Plumber, Andrew Lowe, Realtor/GreenTree Realty & Quality Inn of Shepherdstown, Mecklenburg Inn, Cora Middlebrook, Piccadilly Posh, Pill & Pill, PLLC, Shaharazade’s Rest/Tea Room, Shepherdstown Liquor’s & More, Shepherdstown Community Club, Shepherdstown Public Library, Specialty Business Supplies, Winchester Blues House Festival, Michael J. Zagarella, MA Audiologist at Audiologist, Inc.

Friends Sponsors Betty’s restaurant, Fine gardening by Jennifer, The Good Shop, H-Mart Shepherdstown, Jala Yoga, Look in Pop’s Attic, Mellow Moods Juice bar, Native Havens landscape/garden service, Off mane Street, Shepherdstown Day Care & Shepherdstown Middle School.

Thanks to The Community Club for lending us tables and chairs and allowing us to use there electricity/kitchen, as well as the whole facility on such short notice. Hali Taylor with The Shepherdstown Public Library for using their electricity for the Library Stage, which we couldn’t use this year.

Our wonderful restaurants/coffee shops and retailers for generously donating to help sponsor the bands: Brian J. Palank, D.D.S., John Christman with Coldwell Banker, Capital Fiduciary Advisors, Geostellar, Look in Pop’s Attic, Native Havens landscape/garden services, Shaharazade’s Restaurant & Tea Room, Devonshire Arms Caf & Pub, Domestic, Fine Gardening by Jennifer Thompson, Four Seasons Books, Shepherdstown Liquors & More, Shepherdstown Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, and Specialty Business Supplies. They donated even though times are tough, and we thank you.

And, sponsors from out of town who generously donated to the bands: Hair Art, Mountain View Solar & Wind, C.T. Carpet One, Bubba, Willie and Ann Bloom, Arnold & Bailey, PLLC, and Skinner Law Firm.

Thanks to Domestic, Tony’s Pizza and Maria’s Taqueria for generously donating food for the Main Stage headliner and Welsh Sound crew, who were drop-dead tired, when I walked in to ask.

Thanks to the Shepherdstown Business Association, and our retailers & restaurants for staying open.

Thanks to President Shipley and Shelli Dronsfield at Shepherd University for allowing the use of all of their parking lots, without which, Street Fest would never happen!

Thanks to all of our artisans who came and braved the weather, they had a great day, and to those who hoped to participate this year but didn’t come out -hope to see you back next year! They were of the highest quality. Thanks to all of our food vendors in our Food Court who came and stayed, they also had a great day!

Thank you so much to everyone who came to our tiny town from Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Frederick, Leesburg, Hagerstown, Berryville and Winchester and our local jurisdictions to check out Shepherdstown, stay at our hotels, shop at our stores, stop by the vendors, eat at our restaurants, and have a beer or glass of wine and listen to some great music! Everyone was so great about throwing their trash and recycling in the designated containers, it made our after event clean up so much faster. The mood was positive throughout the day and it showed in the people on the street and in the music venues. We are so grateful to everyone who came out and supported the festival.

Most of all, I’d like to thank the good people of Shepherdstown for extending a warm welcome to our visitors and allowing us to put on a great festival to showcase the town that we love.

Lori Robertson,

SSF President