FOLLANSBEE - Many who attended Follansbee Community Days Friday said they were pleased with its new location in the parking lot for Follansbee Park.
"It's pretty nice. There's more room. They did a nice job," said Marcy Harris of Weirton, who was among many who surveyed many vendors selling food, crafts and other items that form a circle around the lot.
In the center were picnic tables where many festival-goers sat down to enjoy the assorted sandwiches, snacks and other food sold there while many others sat in lawn chairs as they watched the night's entertainment perform on a stage facing the lot and the Follansbee Community House.
DIME TOSS — Tyler Walkup, 13, of Weirton, left, and Tristan Popish, 9, of Follansbee, were among the many participating in the dime toss held by the Follansbee Fire Department at Follansbee Park during Follansbee Community Days. The fire department took advantage of the festival’s new location near Follansbee Park by holding the game and bingo at the park’s Follansbee Lions Club shelter. The three-day festival continues today with a parade at 1 p.m. on state Route 2 and music by the Driftin’ Hoopie Experience, Original Fantasys and Charlie Thomas’ Drifter -- Warren Scott
Music on Friday night was supplied by Pittsburgh dance band Night Life and classic rock and roll band Phil Dirt and the Dozers.
The festival will continue today with a parade at 1 p.m. on state Route 2 and beginning at 5 p.m., music by the Driftin' Hoopie Experience, Original Fantasys and Charlie Thomas' Drifters.
Sunday's festivities will include a car show from noon to 4 p.m. at Lyle's Auto, across from the park's entrance on state Route 2; music beginning at 6:30 p.m. by The Four Townsmen and Shout: Legends of Soul, followed by a fireworks display.
Russ Welch of Wellsburg said of the new site, "It's a little bit different, but it gives us more space and the kids can go to the playground."
"It gives the people downtown who were dissatisfied with all of the traffic a break and the vendors room," he added.
Welch referred to residents of Virginia Avenue, the event's former location, who asked for it to be moved for various reasons, including noise, trespassing and vandalism on their property by some attendees and being forced to park away from their homes.
Many of Friday's attendees said the first thing they noticed was the lot provided more space.
"I think it's great up here. There's a lot more room," said Sally Cassandra of Wellsburg.
Alan Michaels of New Cumberland, a stagehand for the entertainment and former Follansbee resident, said there was more room for the audience.
Don Layburn, the Follansbee Community Days entertainment chairman, said, "I've passed so many people who have said they couldn't believe the room and that it's so nice."
Mayor David Velegol Jr. said one thing that will have to be worked out is the parking.
No parking is available at the park. With the cooperation of the Brooke County Board of Education, school bus shuttles have been set up to offer rides from the Blue Wave football field at the city's north end, as was done in the past, as well as from several locations along Route 2 on the south end.
They are: Domino's, the former site of Farmer Frank's, the Follansbee City Building, Brooke County Senior Center and James Funeral Home.
City Police Chief John Schwertfeger said if attendees to do opt to park and walk to the festival, they are asked to cross from Follansbee Plaza, the site of the Burger King, Sunoco station and other businesses.
City Police have been assisting pedestrians across Route 2 from that area, and a pedestrian crossing signal also is available there.
The festival always has offered local civic groups a chance to raise funds. One of the many participating this year is the Follansbee Fire Department, which is using the Follansbee Lions Shelter at the park for bingo and a dime toss game.
(Scott can be contacted at email@example.com)