KINGWOOD — Plans are going forward for the 79th Annual Preston County Buckwheat Festival, but the coronavirus has made planning more difficult.
“We’re still hopeful,” of proceeding with the event, David Brown, president of the Kingwood Volunteer Fire Department (KVFD), said Monday. “We’ve been meeting and trying to put some contingency plans in place.”
The 79th Annual Preston County Buckwheat Festival is set for Sept. 24-27.
Earlier, The Dominion Post reported the Queen Ceres competition held at the Buckwheat Festival Royalty Pageant scheduled for April 18 was postponed. And KVFD’s Firefighter Breakfast on Easter Sunday has been canceled.
Brown said committees are trying to set up a way for members to hold meetings via smart phones due to the 10-person gathering restriction.
Carnival Coordinator Mike Shaffer said he has not heard from Shaw & Sons Amusements, which provides the rides and games for the Buckwheat Festival.
“As it now stands, yes, we are still planning,” Shaffer said. “Advertising for the [program] book has been sent out.”
Perry Barlow, chief of the KVFD) said the festival is the department’s main source of funding.
“We’re still working on it,” he said. “September is not that far away and the event is so large we can’t not go forward with making plans.”
“The volunteers we have are really great. This adds an extra layer to what they have to do,” Brown said.
“They are very much appreciated. They are very dedicated and very good.”
The only time a festival has been cancelled was during World War II. The first festival was held in 1938. Tens of thousands of people typically crowd the festival grounds and Kingwood, during the event.