Beckley’s Kids Classic Festival activities continue on September 10 and 11. The festival committee is encouraging precautions to be made to keep the activities as safe as possible. Event hosts, booths and parade entries should be careful to offer only safe activities. Social distancing, masks and sanitizing are recommended. Those attending should exercise the cautions as well, and do not attend if experiencing any virus symptoms. Note that there are no bounce houses or rides set up during the festival. Some of the originally planned activities have been cancelled or changed for safety.
Friday, Sept. 10 – The Crescendo House will offer a free instrument exploration event for children and parents from 4-6 pm in the Kindermusik room at their Ragland Road location.
A Special Friday Evening at the Youth Museum & Exhibition Mine begins at 6:00 pm with an opportunity for all visitors to see the Funnybones Magic Show and Balloon Animals at the amphitheater. This is one of the last opportunities to visit the Youth Museum’s current popular exhibit “Thomas & Friends – Ride the Rails” – as it will be leaving the museum in September. The planetarium presentations have been cancelled at the due to social distancing concerns in the museum’s planetarium.
The Youth Museum complex is located in New River Park adjacent to the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine. Museum hours are daily 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. For more information, call 304-252-3730.
Also, special underground mine tours will be available – the festival rate for the complex admission during the evening of September 10 is $5 (for the underground tour and inside the museum activities).
Saturday, Sept. 11 Kids Classic Festival Street Fair and Parade:
Annual 9-11 Remembrance at Word Park will not happen due to gathering concerns, but people can stop by to see the steel memorial and reflect on the tragedy that happened 20 years ago. The Parade of Lights will still take place during the evening – the parade rides past the memorial steel from the World Trade Center located at the park.
Around 30 Street Fair Booths will line Main Street, & Heber Street/Federal Plaza and part of Fayette Street during the Saturday Kids Fair from 10 am – 2 pm with various organizations and businesses set-up offering fun, information, giveaways and/or food. The Beckley Fire Department’s Firefighters’ Challenge Course has been cancelled due to touching concerns with Covid. The United Bank showcase has been scaled back due to Covid concerns. The showcase will have a frisbee game, the prize wheel ($5) and a limited supply of goody bags with toys. Other street fair highlights will include a story walk at Shoemaker Square and several activities at the Federal Plaza including a giant Candyland game.
Parade – The Kids Classic Parade will begin at 11 am. It will be a smaller parade than normal, but still have some exciting entries. Dr. Ayne Amjad will be the Grand Marshal. Dr. Amjad is the Commissioner and State Health Officer of the Bureau of Public Health, WV Department of Health & Human Resources. Kids Festival Princess Belle Hight along with Raleigh County Teacher of the Year, WWHS’s band, and a variety of other entries are expected. A special “Founders Trophy” (in honor of Madrith Chambers) will be awarded to the Best Parade Entry. The festival and parade theme for this year is patriotic – America Strong. The Beni Kedem Highlanders Bagpipe Band, sponsored by the Irish Heritage Fund, will be featured in the parade. Antique & classic cars and Jeeps are invited to be in the parade. Vehicle line-up will be at Park Middle School between 10:00 am and 10:45 am; walking units line-up at the Beckley Intermodal Gateway.
The festival ends this year the annual 9-11 Parade of Lights on Saturday 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.
Thanks to festival sponsors: United Bank, Raleigh County Commission, Mac’s Toy Fund, City National Bank, SMART529 / Hartford Funds, McDonalds, Ward Law Office, Quick Prince Printing, 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.