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St. Albans preparing for 12th annual Founders Day celebration on May 13

By Ben Calwell, Metro Reporter
Main Street in St. Albans will be the focal point during the annual St. Albans Founders Day on Saturday, May 13. The event will feature vendors, food and live entertainment. A parade at 10 a.m. kicks off the festivities. Courtesy photo

It wouldn’t be springtime in St. Albans without the city’s annual Founders Day celebration.

This year marks the 12th Annual St. Albans Founders Day, which will be held on Main Street, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 13.

The first Founders Day weekend began in October 2006.

Sponsored by the St. Albans Founder’s Day Committee and the St. Albans Historical Society, this event brings people to Main Street for food, arts and crafts and plenty of entertainment that helps to celebrate the history of St. Albans and also promotes the downtown businesses.

“This event is sponsored by the St. Albans Historical Society to draw people to the St. Albans Main Street Historic District, which consists of 27 buildings, all of which were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000,” said Neil Richardson of the Historical Society.

This year, more than 40 vendors and food booths will be set up. Vendors can still apply for this year’s Founders Day. To register as a vendor, visit www.stalbanshistory.com and get the application. The cost is $20 per booth.

Live entertainment is also on tap. Some of the entertainers scheduled to perform include: Rodney Miles and Mountain Grass band, The Kidd Family, the Happy Steppers dancers, Mountain Valley Cloggers, the Kanawha Valley Pipe & Drum Corps, the Tornado Apostolic singers and the Mountaineer Dulcimer Club.

The West Virginia National Guard Obstacle Course will also be set up on Main Street.

As in years past, the Founders Day festivities begin with an opening parade at 10 a.m. The parade starts at St. Francis Catholic Church and travels down Sixth Avenue, ending at the Loop.

There’s still time to register for the parade. To do so, call Patty Swango, 304-727-3293.

Additionally, history buffs can take a free, Historical Walking Tour that begins at noon at the St. Albans Historical Society’s table, which will be set up beside the Alban Arts Center on Main Street.

“We have not had the Historical Sidewalk Walking Tour for several years,” Richardson said.

This year, the old Herbert’s Music Company, owned by Frank McCormick, will be used for art displays and to show vintage St. Albans videos throughout the day. The St. Albans Historical Society will also have a scanner inside to scan vintage photographs and maps that area residents can bring with them to be reproduced.

“We will be using the old Herbert’s Music Company building (next to Alban Arts Center) for an art display, West Virginia Radio Museum Display and to show old St. Albans videos throughout the day. And we’ll be scanning old St. Albans photos that people bring in,” Richardson said.

Musicians will perform from the front porch of the Herbert Music Company building, too, Richardson said.

“The Kanawha Valley Pipe and Drum Corps will be new this year to play on Main Street,” he said.

New food vendors this year include Island Teriyaki and B&B Country Fixin’ BBQ.

“St. Albans radio station WWSA is new and will be broadcasting live on Main Street. They play oldies 24 hours with limited commercials,” Richardson said.

Founders Day organizers are also trying to get the Shriners’ Calliope for the event.

“We are working on getting the Shriners’ Calliope this year, which is mounted on an antique jeep. It was there about six years ago and has been getting restored.”

Additionally, visitors to Founders Day can stop by the St. Albans Historical Society building at 404 Fourth Ave. There will be an open house there all day during Founders Day.

Helping out during the day will be teen volunteers from the St. Albans Teen Court.

For more information, visit www.stalbanshistory.com.


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