Cyndie Wade’s tough decision

Cyndie Wade said it was a difficult decision-one she cried over-to resign this year as president of the Parkersburg Homecoming Festival.

It is easy to understand why Wade felt she could not devote her best efforts to bringing the finest festival possible to Parkersburg for three days in August.

On Aug. 12, 2013, five days before the start of homecoming, Wade’s husband, Carl, passed away at the family’s business on Seventh Street, New Image Services Plus Inc. Carl and Cyndie had owned and operated the business for several years.

Randall Roberts, whom Cyndie succeeded as homecoming president on Jan. 1, 2013, once again led the homecoming as Cyndie dealt with her tragedy and business concerns.

Cyndie tried to keep New Image Services operating but eventually closed the business. She resumed her duties as homecoming president, but stepped down from the position about two months ago.

“I knew it was too much for me to handle,” Cyndie told me this week. “Others are stepping up to take on the responsibility.”

Sherry Valentine is the new president of the Parkersburg Homecoming Festival Board of Directors. She has been involved with homecoming for about seven years, handling Rubber Ducky sales and running the Junior Miss pageant.

“Everything is coming together quite perfectly,” Valentine said. “Homecoming has very good committee members.”

Slowing the homecoming’s efforts were issues with the organization’s website, which was maintained by Carl Wade. The website was recently restarted and contains information on this year’s homecoming activities, set for Aug. 15-17.

The 2014 homecoming entertainment schedule will be announced at a press conference Tuesday afternoon in Parkersburg, according to a press release issued Friday.

Cyndie said she intends to resume her volunteer efforts with the homecoming but isn’t sure when.

She appreciates how the community has supported her during the difficult times.

“The support I received in this community was amazing,” Cyndie said. “The people here are good to me; they are like family.”

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Local entertainment is needed for 11 a.m. Saturday, June 21 at the 19th annual Mid-Ohio Valley Multi-Cultural Festival at City Park in Parkersburg. Groups or singers of Appalachian, folk or similar music styles can contact movmcf@gmail.com. The festival also needs people and exhibits from foreign lands to participate in the international boulevard display from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. that Saturday. The multi-cultural festival is June 20-22. The Freedom Band, a reggae group, will perform on the main stage June 21 at 8:30 p.m., while headliners on Friday, June 20 are Kenya Safari Acrobats at 6:30 p.m. and Jabali Afrika performing traditional African music at 8:30 p.m.

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Vienna’s second annual jazz festival has a new name and location and no charge to attend. Smooth jazz trumpet player David Wells is moving the festival from the Ohio River to Spencer Park in Vienna, 609 28th St., next to the fire station, on Sept. 13. The 2014 Vienna Rib & Jazz Festival will feature rib vendors cooking and performances by singer/guitarist Steve Oliver from Los Angeles, keyboardist Chris Geith of New York City, Wells, smooth jazz band ZOE from Philadelphia, along with other groups. Last year’s inaugural jazz festival was in August outside the former Fishbone restaurant on 17th Street along the river.

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As the Smoot Theatre prepares to celebrate the 25th year of Camp Vaudeville, director Felice Jorgeson is looking for past participants in the Parkersburg youth theater program. Camp Vaudeville, since 1990, has taught local theater history, acting, dancing, visual arts, music and the technical aspects of theater to children in grades two through nine. Jorgeson wants to recognize past members of Camp Vaudeville at the 25th anniversary week of instruction and show July 14-22. The show put on by the children on the final night will recognize the “best 25 years” of Camp Vaudeville.

Contact Paul LaPann at plapann@newsandsentinel.com