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More than cakes at Buckwheat Festival

KINGWOOD — Volunteers kept pouring the batter and the buckwheat cakes kept disappearing from plates at the Kingwood Community Center Friday.

Also highlighting the 81st Annual Preston County Buckwheat Festival was the School Day Parade.

Today will bring the Ag Olympics, the Farmer’s Day Parade and much more.

The Preston County Buckwheat Festival offers something for just about everyone. People come from all over the county and beyond, to watch the parades, purchase items from vendors, ride the rides, buy funnel cakes, cotton candy and visit the animal barn.

As always, the festival is centered around the buckwheat cakes and sausage dinners served by local restaurants and by the Kingwood Volunteer Fire Department (KVFD) at the Community Building.

KVFD Chief Perry Barlow said last year the fire department dished out more than 10,000 buckwheat cake and sausage dinners, requiring a ton of buckwheat flour and 8,000 pounds of sausage. He said the sausage was ground and seasoned at the fire house and made into 38,000 quarter-pound patties.

“The Buckwheat Festival is my favorite holiday,” said Shelly Maxwell. “My husband moved back after 24 years and found me in front of the old high school. I was the parade coordinator. I volunteered and was coordinator for over 20 years.”

Author Thomas H. Williams said the buckwheat cakes are among his favorites. He said right up there with the buckwheat cakes was talking to people and getting their stories.

Lainey Bell, 8, said she liked the roller coaster and meeting other people

“I like staying with aunt NiNi (Kathy Henline) and eating buckwheat cakes and sausage” she said.

Mary Rembold and Paul Herder had their seats in place Friday, waiting for the parade to begin. Herder said the two used to go to all of the parades but trimmed it down to two, the School Day Parade and the Farmer’s Day Parade.

“We’re people watching now until the parades starts,” Rembold said. “But our favorite is definitely the parades.”

Janet Price from Morgantown said she likes to visit the exhibit halls and see the crafts. Price said another favorite is visiting the animal barns.

“I just like to walk around and see what the vendors have for sale and look at the animals,” Steve Harris from Oakland, Md., said.

Mary Metheny said choosing what she likes best about the festival is a tough choice.

“Its a toss up between the exhibits, flowers and the funnel cakes,” she said.

The festival runs through Sunday.