Welcome to the Kids Classic Festival
Our Festival Committee is pleased to host Beckley’s 28th Annual Kids Classic Festival. The week-long festival offers family activities throughout the community such as contests, booths, games, parades, entertainment, fireworks and more! This year’s theme is “America Strong” to correspond with the 20th anniversary of 9-11 and to honor our country. The festival committee appreciates the volunteers, sponsors, event hosts, and organizations that help make the festival a special week of fun. Due to Covid numbers rising, we also encourage everyone to be as safe as possible during the activities – please social distance, wear mask indoors or at close distance, and sanitize hands often. Many of the events are held outdoors.
Sunday, September 5: This year’s festival will kick-off on Sunday, September 5 with a variety of activities happening at Beckley Little League. Step up to the plate to play in this year’s Kids Classic home run derby which is 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 your age division so you have a chance to win cash money! Winners also receive a medal. The home run derby begins at 7:00 p.m.
Other activities at the fields will include a soccer kick contest which begins at 7:30 pm for ages 8-18; $5 entry with ½ the fee going into prizes for the age category, and medals for winners. Shady Spring High School Soccer Boosters are helping with the contest.
The Sparklers cheerleaders will provide a cheering demonstration at 8:00 pm and WWHS baton twirler Anisa Petties will twirl fire at 8:45 pm
The festival’s annual FIREWORKS display will be presented at 9:00 p.m. by Pyrotechnico in the Little League / Convention Center area.
Labor Day, Monday, September 6: McManus Trail activities – Kids’ Car, Bike & Wheels Show – Bring your battery-operated or pedal car, bicycle, tricycle, wagon, scooter or decorated stroller to show off on the McManus Trail on Labor Day. Free registration from 5:30 -6:00 pm, with awards at 6 pm. Meet at the trail Art Park – 3rd Ave Parking lot. Patriotic-themed decorating.
Also, walk or ride along the trail to read a book with pages featured at a variety of spots during the Raleigh County Library Story Walk / McDonalds Trail Scavenger Hunt, 5-7 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). The offer is good from 10:00 am until 9:00 pm – please call for lane availability – 304-253-7328. Leisure Lanes has leagues for all ages.
Tuesday, Sept. 7: The Raleigh County Library invites children to build with them – Stop by the library between 3 and 5 pm to pick out mini building block kit to create and keep. Decorate some fun building block glasses and enjoy some sweet block treats. No registration required, limited supplies.
Wednesday, Sept. 8: The Pottery Place will offer a special “buy one, get one half-off” price special for the Kids Festival.
Thursday, Sept. 9: Active Southern WV will offer Youth Disc Golf Instruction at the WVU Tech Disc Golf Course beginning at 4:30 pm.
Also happening on Thursday, Dave Barksdale will host a Pickleball event at New River Park beginning at 6 pm. He will introduce children to the sport and host contests such as serving, receiving, forehand & selfies with a chance to win a trophy.
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 – On Friday, September 10, the Youth Museum and Exhibition Mine will take part in the festival. The evening begins at 6:00 pm with an opportunity for all visitors to see the Funnybones Magic Show and Balloon Animals. Several special planetarium presentations will take place in the museum’s planetarium between 6:00 and 8:00 pm. While not watching a show or meeting a character, visitors can enjoy and explore the Youth Museum’s current popular exhibit “Thomas & Friends – Ride the Rails” – one of the last opportunities to enjoy the exhibit as it will be leaving the museum in September.
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 at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine. The festival rate for the complex admission during the evening of September 10 is $5 (for the underground tour and inside the museum activities). For mine info, call 304-256-1747.
Saturday, Sept. 11 Kids Classic Festival Street Fair and Parade:
Annual 9-11 Remembrance at Word Park will take place at Word Park at 9:30 am. The Stewards Individual Placement team will also have a booth during the street fair.
Street Fair Booths will line Main Street & Heber Street/Federal Plaza and Shoemaker Square during the Saturday Kids Fair from 10 am – 2 pm with various organizations and businesses set-up offering games, information and/or food. The Beckley Fire Department’s Firefighters’ Challenge Course will be back beside the courthouse on the Fayette Street side.
United Showcase – The showcase will span the parking area under United Bank with access from Fayette Street. The showcase will have carnival-style games and activities such as the fishing booth, frisbee, the prize wheel and more. Cost for a wrist band to visit the stations is $5; and the prize wheel spin is $5 to win larger prizes. Proceeds from the arcade benefit local charities. The games are manned by volunteers, including bank employees, organizations, & students. Anyone wishing to volunteer or donate to the showcase should call 304-252-7262.
The showcase will be open on Saturday, September 11 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.
Parade – The Kids Classic Parade features children’s characters, bands, walking units, and floats. 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. 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. First responders are encouraged 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.
Youth performers may be featured after the parade in the Main Street area.
The festival ends this year with inviting the community to watch 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.