2022 Kids Classic Festival

Beckley’s 29th Annual Kids Classic Festival is scheduled for September 5-11, 2022. The week-long festival offers family activities throughout the community such as an aerial circus, contests, booths, games, parades, entertainment, and more!  

This year’s festival will kick-off on Monday, September 5 (Labor Day) with a variety of activities. Kids Day at New River Park will feature the Cincinnati Circus shows – aerial circus acts, fire twirling, and more can be watched at three show times: 11:30 am, 12:45 pm, and 2:00 pm.  “The Cincinnati Circus performed at the park in 2020 offering drive-in shows during the pandemic.  Since the event was a hit during that time of social distancing, we look forward to offering the shows again during this year’s festival” says Jill Moorefield of Beckley Events. 

There will also be activities at the park between the circus shows (noon-1pm) including playing in a foam area (bring a towel), games, and a bounce house. Attendees can meet and take photos with a mermaid and Superman characters. The Patriot Wood Wagon will be on hand selling hamburgers, hotdogs, BBQs, pretzels, nachos, and snow cones. 

Children can bring their battery-operated or pedal car, bicycle, tricycle, wagon, scooter, or decorated stroller to show off at the Kids’ Car, Bike & Wheels Show at the park. Register at 1:30 pm, add optional decorations at the decorating stations, watch the 2:00 pm circus show, and the awards will be presented at 2:30 pm.

Also on Labor Day, step up to the plate at Beckley Little League to play in the Kids Classic home run derby.  Open to several age divisions from kids (8 & up) to adults. The derby entry fee is $5.00 per person with 1/2 off the fee going back to the winner of your age division so you have a chance to win cash money!  Winners also receive a medal. Registration for the derby begins at 5:30 p.m. with a 6:00 pm start time for the first pitch. (Rain date: Sunday, Sept. 11 at 4 pm)   

During the week, Leisure Lanes will offer one FREE game of bowling and shoe rental per child when accompanied by a paying adult during the festival (Tuesday, September 7 – Saturday, September 11).  Please call for lane availability – 304-253-7328.  Leisure Lanes has leagues for all ages.

On Tuesday, September 6, the Raleigh County Library will offer a Dinosaur Discovery event from 3-5 pm. Participants may choose between a dinosaur dig kit or a Lego dinosaur build kit while enjoying a collection of dinosaur themed books. Then between 5 and 7 pm, McDonalds will host a Story Walk (with help from the library) and a Trail Scavenger Hunt near McManus Trail shelter by McDonalds on Prince Street. Also on Tuesday, Active Southern WV is hosting Stand Up Paddleboarding at Lake Stephens from 4:30-6:30 pm.

On Wednesday, September 7, stop by the Beckley Art Center between 4 and 6 pm to paint rocks & create a colorful Cyanotype.

The Pottery Place is planning a painting party for Thursday, September 8 beginning at 5 pm. The cost is $10, and with only 25 spaces, please pre-register in-person or call 304-253-8777.

Also on Thursday, the Sunset / Full Moon Group Walk / Bike Ride with Active Southern WV will take place along the McManus Trail.  Meet at the Art Park by 3rd Ave at 7 pm. If you don’t have a bike, you can check one out at the Trail Welcome Center at 6:45 pm. 

A special Friday evening at the Youth Museum & Exhibition Mine will happen on September 9. The evening begins at 6:00 pm with the Funnybones Magic Show and Balloon Animals. Visitors can explore the Youth Museum’s new exhibit “Toyland”. The festival rate for the complex admission during the evening is $5 (for the underground tour and inside the museum activities).  For mine info, call 304-256-1747.

Kids Classic Festival Street Fair and Parade is set for Saturday, September 10. During the Street Fair, booths will line Main Street and parts of Fayette and Heber Streets (Federal Plaza), and Shoemaker Square from 10 am – 2 pm with various organizations and businesses offering games, information and/or food.  The Beckley Fire Department’s Firefighters’ Challenge Course will be beside the courthouse on the Fayette Street side.  103CIR and McDonalds plan to offer retro games on the Federal Plaza by Heber Street.

In the parking area under United Bank and on Fayette Street, the United Carnival Showcase will have carnival-style games, activities, and a prize wheel.  Read Aloud is joining this year offering storytelling and free books (while supplies last). The cost for a wrist band to visit the carnival stations is $5; and the prize wheel spin is $5 to win larger prizes. Proceeds from the showcase benefit local charities. The showcase will be open on the 10th from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. – the ticket booth closes at 1:30 p.m.  United Bank has supported the festival since the festival’s inception.

The Kids Classic Parade features children’s characters, bands, teams, walking units, and floats.  Festival royalty will be in the parade – Miss Beckley Kids Classic Festival Mia Grace Bailey, along with the Teen Queen Willow Ormsbee, and Jr. Miss Karly Hilliard. A special “Founders Trophy” (in honor of Madrith Chambers) will be awarded to the Best Parade Entry; and a proclamation remembering Ms. Chambers will be read after the parade. The festival and parade theme for this year is patriotic – Toys and Games. Children’s characters, mascots, youth groups, 4-H clubs, FFA, scouts, sports teams, bands, cheerleaders, gymnasts, dancers, artists, musicians, academic and community service achievers are encouraged to enter the parade. School bands throughout Southern West Virginia are invited to participate, plus the Beni Kedem Bagpipe Band, sponsored by the Irish Heritage Fund will be in the parade.  Antique & classic cars are invited to be in the parade. The Kids Classic Festival Grand Parade registration form is located on the City’s website www.beckley.org, click on Beckley Events, or call 304-256-1776 for more information.

The festival ends this year with inviting the community to watch the annual 9-11 Parade of Lights on Sunday evening. Emergency vehicles from around the area line-up at Independence High School.  They leave at dusk from the school to cruise to Sophia and along Route 16 (Robert C. Byrd Drive), turns and circles downtown (past the Memorial Steel from the World Trade Center at Word Park), and then, back onto Byrd Drive to Ragland Road where it ends at Epling Stadium. The annual Parade of Lights has happened for many years in memory of the 9-11 attacks on our country and to honor our local emergency heroes. The festival committee appreciates the volunteers, sponsors, event hosts, and organizations that help make the festival a special week of fun. Thanks to festival sponsors: United Bank, Raleigh County Commission, Mac’s Toy Fund, McDonalds, Ward Law Office, 103CIR and 93.5 The Buzz, The Register-Herald, 99.5 WJLS FM / 56 WJLS AM, Beckley Events / City of Beckley, Irish Heritage Grant, State of WV Fairs & Festivals Grant, and Event Hosts.