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Big crowd enjoys Strawberry Festival parade

Davin White

STAFF WRITER

BUCKHANNON -- People from around the region came to the Strawberry Festival's Grand Feature Parade Saturday to witness the sights and sounds of miniature racing cars, kilt-wearing Scottish bagpipe players, and children running frantically from sidewalk to street to collect thrown candy.

Some people, however, came home to see old friends.

"I enjoy seeing the people more than the parade," Upshur County native Bob Brady said. "Roots run real, real deep."

Brady was born and raised in Buckhannon, but work transferred him out of the state for "about 20 years." It also transferred him back to Buckhannon when his firm, Bell Constructors, recently began work on the new federal prison in Glenville.

The Memorial Day weekend brings a lot of people to Buckhannon and the Strawberry Festival, Brady said.

"That's a lot of people that can come home," Brady said. "It's like a reunion."

Geographically speaking, Kyle Lynch and Melissa Holman traveled much farther than Brady to get to the parade.

The Morgantown residents moved from the Seattle, Wash., area in April. Saturday was their first trip to the parade.

"It's about the same size as the ones in Washington, maybe a little bit bigger," Lynch said, adding, "I haven't been to a parade since I was 16."

Lynch and Holman, both 19, say they are in West Virginia "for good."

"I think it's a lot friendlier here," Holman said.

Saturday afternoon's weather may have been responsible for the parade's success. Partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the seventies were a welcome change for parade goers.

"Everyone's been cooped up for a week with the weather," Fairmont resident Sherry Garner said. "All of a sudden it's a nice day."

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