Middlebourne officials plan events

MIDDLEBOURNE – Mayor Gayla Fisher reiterated the events for Middlebourne’s upcoming Bicentennial Celebration at Monday night’s council meeting.

The event is to take place June 21-23 and kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday with a dinner on the Tyler County Senior Center lawn. The dinner includes hamburgers, hot dogs, cobblers, and ice cream and is followed up with entertainment by Mountain State Bluegrass Express at 5 p.m.

A quilt show will take place at the senior center on Friday and Saturday.

Saturday’s events begin at 11 a.m. with the brass quintet, Summertyme, playing at the town’s gazebo. Soup beans and corn bread will be for sale at the senior center, whereas those craving a hot dog or pepperoni roll can stop by the library where those food items will be for sale, along with other goodies.

A parade will begin at 1 p.m., with lineup for the event starting at 12:15 p.m. at the senior center. After the parade, Adams House Ministries will be hosting an ice cream social. The ministry will set up a collection site in front of the magistrate office where they will be accepting hygiene and nonperishable food items. They will be available to answer questions from the public.

Also on Saturday, Maria Isabella “Belle” Boyd (1844-1900), a Confederate spy, will be portrayed by Patty Cooper of Parkersburg. The presentation is part of the History Alive! program of the West Virginia Humanities Council.

Belle Boyd was born in 1844 at Bunker Hill, W.Va., and spent her early years in Martinsburg. When Union troops entered Martinsburg during the Civil War, the 17-year-old Belle shot and killed a federal soldier who invaded her family home.

Acquitted on self-defense, she turned her energies to collecting and smuggling military information to help the Confederate cause. After going to England in 1864 to seek support for the Confederacy, she was unable to reenter the country until after the war, when she toured widely, speaking of her war time exploits.

Boyd is one of the many available character presentations offered through the West Virginia Humanities Council’s History Alive! program as a means of exploring history by interacting with noteworthy historical figures. These programs provide audiences with the opportunity to question those who have shaped our history. The West Virginia Humanities Council is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing educational programs in the humanities for all West Virginians. For over 30 years, the council has been providing educational programs in the humanities across the state.

Also on Saturday, from 2-6 p.m. there will be a variety of events available for kids held at both the CSTC lawn and Main Street. These events include inflatable activities, a rock wall, face painting, balloon animals, and bubbles.

Fisher stated there would also be a woman playing the bagpipe and a man would be strolling around playing the flute. Jeff Watson will also be at the fire hall with a slide presentation of Middlebourne’s history. An apple butter demonstration, as well as a birthday cake honoring Middlebourne’s birthday, will be available in the town, and Betty Tustin will be doing a weaving demonstration on Main Street.

The big event of the evening will take place at the Tyler County Fairgrounds where Landau Eugene Murphy will be performing from 7:30-9 p.m. Following this event, a fireworks show will be presented by Zambelli’s. During this time, the ladies of the fair board will have beverages, hot dogs, and chips and salsa for sale. The fair board women will return on Monday where they will be serving a baked chicken dinner at the fairground’s log building from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This will be followed by a performance by Gold Wing Express at the fairground’s stage.

Fisher stated she had the opportunity to speak with Gold Wing Express as well as the people connected with Landau Eugene Murphy and they are all “very nice people.”

Middlebourne’s Bicentennial celebration is being strictly done through grants, specifically a $500 grant from Long Reach Credit Union, $500 from Stone Energy, $5,000 from West Virginia Culture and HIstory, and $50,000 from the Stealey Community Fund.

“No town funding is involved,” Fisher stated, saying she wants to make sure everyone knows that the celebration is funded through grants.