KINGWOOD, W.Va. — The tradition continues in downtown Kingwood Wednesday with the opening of the 81st Preston County Buckwheat Festival.
Festival General Chairman Harry Hayes said planning for this year’s event, which runs through Sunday, started immediately after cleanup last year.
“There’s obviously hundreds of volunteers and thousands of hours that are put into putting this festival on,” Hayes said on WAJR’S “Talk of the Town.” “The community comes together to really help support this great festival, which benefits the Kingwood Volunteer Fire Department.”
Hayes said more than 10,000 buckwheat pancake and sausage dinners are prepared each year for the community with the proceeds benefiting firefighters. The Kingwood Fire Department meals are $12 for adults and $7 for kids from 3 to 12 years old.
“The buckwheat cakes and sausages are at our community building,” Hayes said. “Those are all-you-can-eat buckwheat cakes; you pay for the dinner, and you can eat as many buckwheat cakes as you want, and it comes with sausage as well.”
The Buckwheat Festival is known for its parades. The Firefighter Parade is the first procession of the festival that starts at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, and on Friday, the School Day Parade will step off at 2 p.m. The parade lineup this year includes an appearance by the West Virginia University Marching Band.
“On Saturday, we have the Farmer’s Day Parade at noon, and we have the WVU Marching Band marching in the parade, and they’ll follow that with a field show,” Hayes said. “So, we’re really excited to have the WU Marching Band.”
Hayes said there will also be a full Midway featuring amusement rides and concessions provided by Shaw & Sons Amusements. All-day ride passes are $15 for Wednesday and $25 on all other days of the festival.
“This year we’re bringing back a big Ferris Wheel; it’s the first time it’s been back for a number of years,” Hayes said. “So, there’s a great chance to get up on the Ferris wheel and see beautiful views of Kingwood and the surrounding mountains.”
Entertainment during the festival ranges from karaoke, open mic, and Morgantown-based country band Moonlight Drive.
“We’ll feature the Davisson Brothers on Saturday night at 8 p.m.,” Hayes said. “We’ll also have Dylan Schneider, an up-and-coming country star, headlining on Friday night, along with some other good regional and national touring bands.”