WAVERLY - The third annual Waverly Lions Club Bluegrass Festival brought several hundred people out to the Lions Club Field in Waverly on Saturday with the help of several bands.
"We had about 75 or so people here Friday night for the couple hours we were open and expect about 300 people for the big event (Saturday)," said Barry Calebaugh, president of the Waverly Lions Club.
Calebaugh said the festival has grown each of its three years and with the 155 paid attendees last year, this year was expected to be even larger.
Wills Creek bluegrass band – members Ray Ferrebee, Don Britton, Sam Brookover, Frank Gadd, Cathy Gadd and Patsy Brookover – take the stage in the Lions Club Field in Waverly on Saturday during the third annual Waverly Lions Club Bluegrass Festival. (Photo by Jolene Craig)
"The first year we had only about 75 people because of an electrical storm, but last year had double that number, so we hope for something similar this year," he added. "I don't honestly know how many people are local, but there are several cars from Ohio, which means they came a little ways."
One of those Ohio cars belonged to the Pettey family from Fleming, Ohio.
"We've been here all three years," said Sybil Petty. "I love bluegrass and this is a great festival to go to because the music is always good."
This year's festival included five bluegrass bands. Two of the bands are local - the Sheppard Brothers hails from Elizabeth while Union Valley Bluegrass is from Parkersburg and Marietta.
The Price Family is based out of Sardis, Ohio, and includes 17-year-old twins Lauren and Leanna Price. Wills Creek includes members from Williamstown and Huntington, W.Va., along with others from Beallsville and Kimbolton, Ohio.
This year's feature band was No One You Know, the only performers at the festival with a recording contract, Calebaugh said.
"This festival is definitely a community event," he said. "But it's not just our community with the bands having handed out more than 2,000 flyers at their other shows."
The music event allows the Waverly Lions Club to donate proceeds to the club's projects and charities, including the West Virginia Lions Sight Foundation, affiliated with the eye clinic at Morgantown and Lions Club International, and others assisting with the sight-impaired.
The Parkersburg High School Big Red Band also raised money through the event with the concession stand.
"Us doing the concessions is less of a headache for the Lions Club and helps us raise the money we need," said Pudge Wolfe, president of the band boosters. "If we gain one dollar here, it's a dollar we didn't have before."