BELLEVILLE - Two years after a tornado ripped through the southern part of Wood County, the annual Belleville Homecoming Festival has bounced back to the way it was before.
Debra Buckley, president of the Belleville Homecoming Board of Directors, said Saturday's attendance for the first full day of the 27th annual homecoming was encouraging.
"So far it has been fabulous," she said. "We had the teen dance Friday and there was a good turnout for that."
Photos by Jeffrey Saulton
Making apple butter for the Daniel Boone 4-H Club were Gunner Dotson, left, and Allison Fleak, middle, as Bud Williams, right, looks on.
Buckley said the attendance for the annual parade on Saturday morning was also larger than expected. Weather for Saturday's activities was bright and sunny with skies that occasionally threatened rain.
"We had people lined up from here all the way up (West Virginia) 68," she said. "We had 75 units."
Along with the heritage exhibits like apple butter making and basket making, this year's festival added some new attractions.
"We have a number of new activities including the Adventure Quest Inflatables, the kids tent and the kids games," she said. "We are excited about the Josh Gracin concert," referring to Saturday night's main concert.
Buckley said the Belleville Homecoming fills a purpose for the southern part of Wood County.
"We are the only event in the southern part of the county," she said. "We're very honored and privileged to provide a place for the community to come out and for family and friends to gather."
Two crafters at Saturday's homecoming included a current resident and a former resident.
Ashley Kimes, of Belleville, said she and Angie Anderson have been making various items that are repurposed from their original use.
"We've been making these for years, but this is our first time at the homecoming," she said. "We make primitives from many items, we take them and repurpose them for a new use."