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Follansbee celebrates community

MEETING THE MOUNTAINEER. Raegan Wiersbicki, 7, of Follansbee, the daughter of Mark and Michelle Wiersbicki, meets the West Virginia Mountaineer, Timmy Eads of Buffalo, W.Va., before the parade at Follansbee's 26th annual Community Days. The festival continues today at the Follansbee Community Park with live entertainment beginning at 4:30 p.m. The Howdy Verner Classic Cars Show at nearby Lyle's Auto is today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The three day celebration ends with fireworks at 10 p.m. today provided by Zambelli Fireworks. -- Mark Law

FOLLANSBEE –The parade Saturday for Follansbee’s 26th annual Community Days started with a bang fired from the musket of Timmy Eads, the West Virginia Mountaineer, following the Brooke High School band playing the national anthem.

Dozens of units traveled down Main Street, which was lined with hundreds of spectators, many of whom set out chairs hours in advance to secure a good viewing.

The festival continues today at the Follansbee Community Park with live entertainment beginning at 4:30 p.m. The Howdy Verner Classic Cars Show at nearby Lyle’s Auto is today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The three day celebration ends with fireworks at 10 p.m. today provided by Zambelli Fireworks.

Amanda Yoder of Hooverson Heights said she comes every year to the parade and stands in front of a friend’s house on Main Street. She was there with her daughter, Annaliese Sirotnik, 7, who had her tonsils removed on Friday. Annaliese said she likes the bands the best. Her brother, Matthew Sirotnik marched by in the Brooke High School band.

David and Megan DeBartolo of Follansbee were there with their son, Gavyn, 6. He said he liked it when candy was thrown from passing vehicles in the parade. Megan said her favorite part of the Community Days is the fireworks.

It was an anniversary party for Tracey Welch, who lives in the 1300 block of Main Street. She and her husband were celebrating their 28th wedding anniversary.

“The city throws a parade for us on our anniversary,” she jokingly said, adding it turns into a real party with local musicians stopping by throughout the day and evening.

A family tradition is going out on the porch roof to watch the fireworks.

“You know you made it when you are old enough to sit on the roof,” she said.

“We have all our friends and neighbors come over. It is really nice,” Welch said.

Brian Clark and his wife, Sonia, used to live in Follansbee but have moved to a bigger house to accommodate their four children. They said they come to the parade every year. It is a tradition. Their daughter, Lily, 9, said she doesn’t like the bands but does like the dance team.

Dale Mull of Weirton was there with the family, including his daughter, Emily Swollen, 14. Emily said in previous years, she had been in the parade on the Follansbee baseball and softball float and then in the Follansbee Middle School band. This was her first year as an observer of the parade. Her brother, Michael Mull, was on the baseball and softball float.

Holly Smith, 9, of Follansbee had a cloth bag almost as big as her to collect as much candy as possible.

“She came prepared,” said her mother, Jennifer, who added they sit in the same location for the parade every year.

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