FOLLANSBEE - Monday's snowfall may have left many feeling that summer is far away, but members of the Follansbee Community Days Committee already have begun planning for this year's event, which will be held July 12-14.
Fifth Ward Councilman Tom Ludewig, who co-chairs the committee with Nina Meca, said the group expects to cut its budget slightly from last year in light of the uncertain economic times, and that includes seeking a smaller contribution from the city. But Ludewig said the group is planning two bands for each night and will present the entertainment lineup for council's approval at its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the City Building.
Ludewig said arrangements also have been made for a mobile replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to be displayed during the festival. Like the monument in Washington, the replica bears the names of more than 50,000 service members who were killed in action or missing in action in the Vietnam War.
Ludewig said the group will approach the Brooke County Board of Education about placing the mobile monument on the Follansbee Middle School football field.
It will be the second year the festival is held in the parking area of the Follansbee Community House near Follansbee Park.
Ludewig said response to the new location was overall positive. There was not enough space to accommodate the number of individuals and groups interested in operating booths at last year's festival, and an effort will be made this year to create additional space there, he said.
He said once again there will be a kickoff at the park the Sunday before the festival, with free food and admission to the city's swimming pool and games for children.
The Follansbee Community Days Derby, a soapbox-style race begun last year by Fred Marino, also will be held on that day, which is July 7.
Ludewig said the Mayor's 5K Run-Walk will have a new date and location - the evening of July 11, at a time to be announced, on Highland Hills. He said the move provides more streets for the race's course, as the previous one downtown included some alleys. The route had included state Route 2 but was moved from it in recent years to avoid traffic issues.
Ludewig added the race also will be part of the Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley Grand Prix series of local races.
He said there are plans to again offer shuttles to the festival from various sites along Main Street.
Members of the Community Days Committee are seeking a nonprofit group to handle public parking during the festival.
The group will direct people parking at the youth football practice field near Jo-Jon's and collect a parking fee set by the city, which the group may keep.
The group will be selected through a drawing. Interested Follansbee organizations should submit their name, organization information and contact number in writing to the Follansbee City Building, P.O. Box 606, Follansbee, WV 26037 no later than 5 p.m. on April 1.