Event showcased a county’s variety

WELLSBURG – Visitors to the Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Discover Brooke County event learned about the wide variety of goods, services and upcoming events being offered in the county.

Tables at the Wellsburg Banquet Hall were manned by professionals ranging from chiropractors to crafters and filled with goods that included assorted potted plants and samples of hot food served up by local restaurants.

Guests sampled chicken marsala and home-made potato chips with artichoke dip served up by the Station Grille and bread pudding and nachos with buffalo chicken dip from Legends and could choose the ingredients for a plate of pasta and sauce prepared by staff with the Serbian-American Cultural Center.

Massage therapists with Capelli Salon and HealthSource Chiropractic and Progressive Rehabilitation offered free demonstrations of their services, easing the tense muscles of many.

Several tables were filled with potted plants, hanging flower baskets and baked goods brought by Ruth Brown and others with the Brooke County Farmers Market.

She and fellow market coordinator Britney Hervey Farris said the summer markets will resume in July at Wellsburg’s Unity Apartments and a new Follansbee location, Tractor Supply.

To show youth the benefits of gardening, they have started a Kids Garden Club. For $5, children in primary school will receive an assortment of vegetable and flower seeds and plants, many of them donated by Brown, to create their own 6 foot by 8 foot gardens.

In June, July and August, the young gardeners will be asked to post pictures of their gardens on the farmers market’s Facebook page, and the gardeners with the top three gardens each will receive a $50 prize, courtesy of Main Street Bank.

For information, call Brown at (304) 374-2164 or the Brooke County West Virginia University Extension Service at (304) 737-3666.

Brooke County WVU Extension agent Jason Rine also was on hand to talk about Brooke County 4-H clubs and upcoming 4-H camps. Rine said many don’t realize 4-H clubs aren’t limited to agricultural activities, adding in recent years a 4-H Lego Robotics group has been formed.

He added the summer camps also aren’t limited to 4-H members though they are an excellent introduction to the clubs. The “Wild West” will be the theme for both a day camp for ages 5-9 and set for July 14-18 at Brooke Hills Park and an overnight club for age 9 and up to be held June 23-29 at Oglebay Park’s Camp Russell.

Rine said the overnight camp will include classes in fishing, sewing and various other skills and campers will use the park’s swimming pool. The cost is $95 for the overnight camp, with some financial assistance available.

The cost is $30 for the day camp, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For information, call Rine at the extension service.

Mary Fran Kowalo and Kacey McMahon of First Choice Realtors were among many professionals on hand for the event.

“This is a wonderful event. We met a lot of people, including some potential buyers,” Kowalo said, adding she and McMahon have seen a growing number of people seeking residential property, including seniors seeking smaller homes, and encourage anyone thinking of selling to contact them.

Kowalo said because interest rates have dropped somewhat, it’s a good time to seek a loan to purchase a home.

Michael O’Brien, co-chairman of the Wellsburg Applefest, stood out among participants as he donned the guise of Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman, complete with a pot for a hat.

O’Brien said the pot may be a part of the Johnny Appleseed legend, but Chapman was a real person who indirectly had a hand in the creation of the Applefest. He explained Chapman has been credited with planting seeds for the Grimes Golden variety of apple at the farm of Thomas Grimes off state Route 27.

The apple, a parent of the Golden Delicious variety, is the inspiration for the festival, which is in its 37th year and will be held Oct. 3-5 in Wellsburg’s downtown business district.

O’Brien said the group has been working to restore the Grimes Golden Roadside Park along Route 27 near the site of Grimes’ farm.

He said most recently a stone walkway has been established between the picnic shelter and the park’s sign.

Discover Brooke County offered Beth Patsch a chance to introduce herself as the new coordinator of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Museum at the Brooke County Public Library. The museum holds the largest collection of items related to Americans and Filippinos who were captured during World War II while defending the Philippine Islands against Japanese invasion.

Patsch brought several books and videos produced by and with the help of former POWs who survived such atrocities as the Bataan Death March. A 2004 graduate of Brooke High School, Patsch was involved in the development of exhibits at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Tom Brown, a local general contractor and handyman, said of the event, “It’s a great opportunity to see all of the people who are doing business in Brooke County and connect with the community. It’s also fun to see people you haven’t seen in a while.”

Marie Carte of Follansbee said, “I think this is awesome. It’s very nice to get out and learn what’s in your community.”