The oldest running reunion in the country kicks off in Kanawha County on Saturday. The two-day Pinch Reunion celebrates its 111th year.

Melissa Starcher and her husband Ken were Pinch Reunion faithfuls for years. Now she’s taken on a roll in keeping the reunion going.

Longtime organizers George Daugherty and Libby Squire decided this would be their last year and Starcher has stepped in to make sure the reunion continues. This year she’s a co-chair.

"The way it worked out George and Libby had already handled everything for Sunday,” she said. “So that just left Saturday for us [Starcher and her husband]."

Next year the Starchers will head up the annual event. But right now she’s focusing on Saturday.

"It’s been a huge challenge. I am very excited and I’ve gotten more and more excited the more challenges we’ve had,” she said.

One of the big challenges was cleaning up from the June 29th derecho. The Pinch Reunion grounds sustained some damage. But Starcher says a lot of people volunteered their time to get things back into shape.

"Friends from all around Pinch, Elkview, even into Charleston have shown up to help rebuild and clean up and remove tree limbs and paint and put up fencing. It’s been wonderful,” Starcher said.

The Pinch Reunion starts Saturday at noon with a parade. It begins at Pinch Elementary and ends at the Pinch Volunteer Fire Department. In the afternoon, there’s a pie baking contest as well as horseshoe and corn hole tournaments. At 5pm, the music starts at the wigwam and will continue through the evening. Sunday morning there’s a church service followed by more music, food and catching up with old friends.

Starcher already has plans for the 2013 Pinch Reunion in the works. She’s bringing back the 5K Fun Run and the banjo and fiddle contests.

For more information about the event, log on to


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

bubble graphic

bubble graphic