How Sweet it is
Berry competition, fireman’s parade entertain
BUCKHANNON — The 77th annual West Virginia Strawberry Festival continued into its seventh day of celebration with a variety of activities planned throughout the day.
Outside the Upshur County Courthouse, the annual Sweetest Berry Competition and Strawberry Auction took place as folks vied to purchase the best strawberries.
Eight youngsters taste-tested 15 samples of strawberries while Dr. Joseph Reed grilled them on questions about Upshur County and West Virginia.
After tallying up the votes the sweetest berry went to a resident of Kanawha County.
Before the Fireman’s Parade, the City of Buckhannon held its annual Friendly Way Day, a celebration to honor the memory of Buckhannon’s longtime fire chief, Carl R. “Bud” Bennet, also known as “Ole Friendly.”
Since 2007 the city has honored members of the Buckhannon Fire Department family who have substantially contributed to the high quality of life enjoyed by Buckhannon-Upshur residents, while embodying the essence of Buckhannon’s “friendly way” as part of their public service to the community.
Past honorees include Bud Bennett in 2007, Harley Brown in 2008, Buddy Ray Zickefoose in 2009, Paul Mackey in 2010, Jack Ford in 2011, Larry Mackey in 2012, Jerry Wilfong in 2013, Wyatt Long in 2014, Dave Long in 2015, Kevin Goodwin in 2016 and Charlie Shaffer in 2017.
On Friday afternoon, Paul Morrison was added to the list of honorees.
Morrison has served on the Buckhannon Fire Department as a firefighter and department contributor in countless ways.
He began fire service as a Boy Scout working on his “Firemanship” merit badge, and would later form and train Gauley Bridge Volunteer Fire Department in scuba, vertical rope rescue, smoke rescue, river and white water SAR, lost person SAR and flammable liquid suppression teams.
Morrison attended West Virginia Institute of Technology as a pre-med major, and graduated from West Virginia University’s pharamcy school and became a registered pharmacist in 1972.
He joined Gauley Bridge Volunteer Fire Department in 1972, where he became assistant chief and a traininer officer.
In 1976, Morrison became a WVU RESA instructor and pursued an associate in applied science degree as a fire science tech, and became one of West Virginia’s first EMTs.
To forever honor and recognize Morrison, a direct installation of a permanent placard will be placed upon both the “Red Wall” and the “Buddy Bench,” located along Friendly Way between the city’s Public Safety Complex and Stockert Youth/Community Center.
Friday evening’s festivities kicked off with the Fireman’s Parade as sirens blared through the streets of Buckhannon.
Fire departments from across the state participated in the parade, as did local officials and organizations.
Crowds of people swarmed the downtown area as Party Gras carried on with live music, carnival rides and fair food.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
7 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Strawberry Pancakes — First United Methodist Church
9 a.m. to noon — Photography Exhibit — Senior Citizen Center
9 a.m. — Pistol Matches & Brassmasters — White Hourse Center (Peeltree)
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Music & Entertainment — Courthouse Plaza
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Craft Sale — First Presbyterian Church
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Antique Engine & Tractor Show — Stockert Youth Center
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Arts & Craft Show and Quilt Show — WVWC Gym (Quilt Show until 5 p.m.)
10 to 11:45 a.m. — Strawberry Mile (Race at Noon) — Academy School
11 a.m. to midnight — Food Court — Spring Street
11 a.m. to midnight — Carnival — Downtown Buckhannon
12:30 p.m. — Antique Car Parade — Strawberry Lane
1 p.m. — Grand Feature Parade — Strawberry Lane
4 p.m. — Irish Road Bowling — Turkey Run Road
5:30 p.m. — Band Show — Performing Arts Center on the campus of WVWC, College Avenue
5:30 p.m. — Strawberry Idol — Courthouse Plaza
7 to 11 p.m. — Party Gras — Main Street
9 a.m. — Pistol Matches & Brassmasters 1800 — White Horse Center (Peeltree)
10 a.m. — Jack Barker Canoe Race (race at Noon) — Wood Street
10 a.m. — Miniature Horse Show — Bennett Farm
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. — Arts & Craft Show — WVWC Gym
1 p.m. — Golf Tournament — Buckhannon Country Club
1 – 3 p.m. — Gospel Sing — Wesleyan Chapel
1 p.m. – 6 p.m. — Carnival — Downtown Buckhannon
1:30 p.m. — Irish Road Bowling — Turkey Run Road