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Events, new & old — Festival Parade set for 11:30 Sat.

At 11:30 a.m. on this Sat., June 21, the 2014 West Virginia State Folk Festival Parade will start at the stoplight in downtown Glenville, and move from West to East Main Street.

At a prior Glenville City Council meeting, the group had approved the parade moving in the opposite direction. However, Mayor Dennis Fitzpatrick confirmed Monday that the city changed the direction of the parade to west to east, due to a request from the Folk Festival Committee.

As a result, the parade units and antique vehicles participating should assemble along Sycamore Run Road and in the Stalnaker Oil & Gas Company lot by 10:30 a.m.

One of the units, however, the Gilmer County Veterans Flag Unit, will gather in the empty lot across West Main Street from Pizza Hut, Lucy Ann West, daughter of the unit’s late founder, Damon West, announces. She is excited about the renewed interest in veterans who wish to carry the large American Flag, which is traditionally a real crowd pleaser.

In a new initiative for festival weekend, the Gilmer County Farmers Market will be open for two days, instead of just on Saturday, and extend its hours on both days. The Economic Development Association’s Market group asserts, “Come out to the market on this Fri.-Sat., June 20-21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.” They say there will be fresh vegetables, arts & crafts, and Gil’s Pit Beef for eating good food.

Another new food related addition to this year’s fest is Hazel Valley Coffee, of Harrisville, which will have organic coffees to purchase in the Holt House Museum. Owner Dan Dieroff will have plenty of companion sellers at the Historical Society on East Main Street, including Carol Wolfe’s Crafts, Violet Bush’s jellies, Karen Pennebaker and Dot Frey’s Crafts. Blacksmith demonstrated items will also be on sale in the society’s side lot.

Another new feature will be the Massage and Reiki treatment center in one of the buildings on the Old Ford Garage Lot at the stoplight. Amanda Steiger will be giving massages for a nominal fee, while her sister, Dawna Smith, will be giving free Reiki treatments. For relief from pain, fest goers can’t beat this duo’s offerings.

The Kemper Family’s “Birds of My Hollow” are also back, and very enthusiastic about continuing their participation in the festival

How did they do that? Some of the questions often asked of bird carvers Claude and Lynne Kemper have had to do with how their birds and feathers were carved, with what materials, and why. Much of what both have done has been the same, but after learning what Lynne could from Claude, she branched off into a different style and into using some different materials. She even went from carving complete birds to carving just their feathers!

Both carvers have used bass wood, a commonly found tree in West Virginia that is fairly soft, is easy to carve, and has a fine wood grain suitable for cutting with sharp tools, like a pocket knife, which Claude preferred, or with carving knives. Almost all of Claude’s birds were carved from bass wood that came from local trees. Lynne uses bass wood for birds as well, but will use tupelo for her curved feathers and for curved areas like wings on birds. Tupelo, which comes from swampy areas like Louisiana, has a still finer grain than bass wood and is lighter in weight, but it doesn’t like to be cut. Grinders and sand paper are best used to shape this wood. Tupelo can be soaked in water, shaped in a jig, and steamed in a microwave so it will hold its shape, which is a useful process when making curved feathers like the pin tail duck feather.

Both Claude and Lynne have made the mounts for their birds and her feathers from West Virginia driftwood, primarily from Summersville Lake and other West Virginia lakes and reservoirs. The best of the driftwood, according to Claude, has been the roots of native rhododendron which, when turned upside down, resemble the branching of a bush or tree. Drift wood has gotten scarce in recent years, so some creative combinations have had to be used to make some of the mounts Lynne makes. She also uses West Virginia walnut, oak, salvaged wormy chestnut, and left over scrap pieces of interesting wood from other woodworkers as mounts for feathers.

Claude wanted to create the impression of the bird as he would see it in nature. Carving it the actual size made the bird appear to him too large, so he carved them about 1/3 smaller than the actual birds. Many of Lynne’s birds are carved in their actual size in order to meet the requirements of carving competitions. Her feathers are all carved to the actual size of real feathers and are as near to as thin as real feathers are as she can make them.

Claude’s use of common materials at hand was an exercise in creativity. To make the legs of birds, he stripped insulation from copper wiring and inserted it into the body of his birds to make the legs. The bird’s toes were made by snipping off the head of nails, bending the pointed end to look like a claw, and gluing them in place on the drift wood mount with Elmer’s Glue. Lynne, on the other hand, has been developing the process of making legs and toes from brass and epoxy clay, and all in one piece that is permanently attached to the bird rather than to the mount. She also uses precast pewter feet and legs on some of her birds. For the eyes of small birds, like a hummingbird, Claude used the heads of sewing pins. For larger birds, both he and Lynne purchased glass eyes.

The Kemper Family’s Birds of My Hollow display is in the historic Little Kanawha Valley Bank on Howard Street.

The festival will run from Thurs.-Sun., June 19-22 in downtown Glenville and at Glenville State College, starting with the Bell Ringing Ceremony Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. at Town Park and ending with the Jobs Temple church service, with the Belles in attendance, at 10 a.m.

Have a Happy Folk Festival, relax and enjoy all there is to see and do. In addition, there’s much out there for learning.