Old and new friends gathered in the small community of Dunmore last weekend to celebrate the lazy days of summer and the continued love they all share for the town that is so much more than a bend in the road.
Dunmore Daze had a great mix of events to create the perfect traditional celebration – a cakewalk, parade, craft/yard sale, live music and good food.
The celebration began Friday evening with the crowning of its King, Homer Hunter, and Queen, Barbara Crist.
While Hunter and Crist are from the Stony Bottom area and Cass, the two are staples of the Dunmore community – Hunter with his music and Crist with her winning smile.
The two were proud to serve as royalty and led the parade in style Saturday.
“I feel honored they asked me,” Crist said.
“It’s nice,” Hunter added. “I didn’t think I’d like it, but it’s good. You know, I’m kind of bashful.”
Crist has lived in the same house her entire life – the house she was born in in Cass.
“I’ve never lived anywhere else,” she said.
Hunter on the other hand, is from the coal fields, but moved to Stony Bottom after years of having a camp there.
After the parade which featured the Pocahontas County Veterans Honor Corps, a group of cyclists, old cars, and fire trucks and rescue squads from Bartow-Frank-Durbin, Cass, Marlinton and Hillsboro, Hunter joined his fellow bandmates and performed traditional bluegrass and gospel tunes.
Hunter relinquished his guitar to Dunmore’s own “crooning cowboy” Bill Lovelace, who performed a song for the crowd.
While there were only a few activities for this annual event, the most important part of the weekend was the downtime. That’s when the community showed its true colors, because that is when everybody joined together and shared stories and memories.
The crowd was abuzz with stories from the past and the way things used to be, as well as discussing current events like local kids returning to the classrooms. Even when there was nothing left to say, it was comforting to just be in the presence of your fellow small community residents.
It may be a small fair, but its impact is immeasurable.