ANSTED, W.Va (WOAY) – The Ansted Hometown Heritage Festival has been this town’s biggest event for 20 years.
“You know, people live in the hollers as they say,” Festival Chairman Jim Campbell said. “You never really see and meet the people that are a part of your community because they go to work everyday and they go home. This actually brings them out where you can see them, talk to them. They get to see some of the things that are going on in town.”
While it has been a staple in the community, this year the festival saw major growth.
“I think the biggest thing to get people to come out is to ask. We simply just took the time,” Parade Director Libby Campbell Lucas said. “We called people. We got on Facebook. We let everyone know that they were welcome to come and we really wanted them to be here. We had music. We had cornhole. We had everything they wanted. We just needed to let them know that it was here.”
It also had something to do with the theme change as this year’s parade was called Heritage and Heroes and was designed to honor law enforcement and the military.
“At one point, I actually cried because I haven’t seen this type of emotion anywhere for a long time,” Lucas said. “It’s usually people complaining about law enforcement, people complaining about the military. And this time, this town, this county, and people outside our county, they all came together.
This year, the festival brought in vendors, live music and even a Sunday morning service. Even though it serves as something fun for the community, it’s also helping local businesses.
“Ansted is kind of one of the forgotten towns on Route 60, so it lets people know what’s here and they start getting out more and it gets more exposure,” Ansted Woodcrafts Owner John Brent Cashion said.
The Ansted Hometown Heritage Festival ran from Thursday to Sunday and happens every year on the third weekend in June.