Elkins projects awarded grants

Two projects in Elkins received funding from the Governor’s Community Participation Grant Awards Friday.

Sen. Clark Barnes, R-Randolph, presented the awards at Elkins City Hall.

The first grant, for $15,000, was awarded to the City of Elkins to improve Glendale Park.

A multipurpose building located at Glendale Park in Elkins is coming along quickly, thanks to support from the community as well as the local YouthBuild program. It will include restrooms, an 8-by-16-foot area for a concession stand and a storage area for park equipment. Youth soccer and football programs already plan to use the concession stand.

“The $15,000 grant will be used as matching funds to secure another $25,000 in conservation grants to finish the project,” Barnes said.

The second grant, for $2,000, is earmarked for the Riverside Blues Festival, slated for the weekend of July 20-21. The Riverside Blues Festival features music, artisans and heritage events on July 20 from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. On July 21, a special Riverside Blues Train ride will travel to High Falls. Upon its return, a blues and gospel sing will take place at Elkins Town Square.

“The festival started with about 100 people attending,” said Alice Sabatino, Riverside Blues Festival coordinator. “Last year, we had more than 550 people and this year, we are hoping to host more than 1,000 participants. Many people are planning their family reunions around this event, where folks come from as far away as Canada and Florida.”

Sabatino said the event was scheduled to follow the Augusta Heritage Festival Blues Week.

“No matter where folks come from, they say they feel they come as strangers and leave as friends,” Sabatino said.

“I am proud to be a part of this endeavor,” said Barnes. “Many people have been working behind the scenes for years to ensure this becomes a reality. The history of the Riverside School is an important part of the history of this area. It is amazing to know of the many very successful people what have passed through the doors of this school.”