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Wellsburg’s Lower End ready to hold First Ward Playground reunion

GET TOGETHER — J.C. Hall and Marsha Allen show off the T-shirt to commemorate the First Ward Playground Reunion Aug. 2-4 at the E.R. Nichols Playground. -- Amy Neelet

WELLSBURG — The lower end is planning its biennial First Ward Playground Reunion Aug. 2-4 at the E.R. Nichols playground on Third and Charles streets.

“We just thought it was a good idea to get everyone back together,” Ruth Royal Gregory said about organizing the first reunion.

“This was always a place of such fond memories down at the playground,” Reunion organizer and First Ward Councilman Daniel Dudley said. “There were no politics or anything. It was just kids. This was back in the ’40s and ’50s.”

Dudley said they can expect to have between 200 and 300 people visit the reunion.

“We have people from Cleveland to California coming back,” he said. “It was never just the kids from the neighborhood back then, you had nieces and nephews and cousins all here to spend the summer.”

Dudley said they didn’t just have fun at the playground, they learned things.

“They had playground supervisors back then,” he said. “Every one of us learned how to fold the flag. We took it down at 6 p.m. every night and put it back up in the morning.”

Members of the group said they are bringing back some of the old traditions with the reunion. One is the wiener roast and movie nights.

Dudley said that every Monday they would have a wiener roast and watch a movie projected on a wall.

Gregory said the movies always were a special night.

“Every year before the Fourth of July we would watch a film of the last year’s parade and fireworks,” she said.

Dudley said this year the wiener roast will help kick things off at 6 p.m. on Aug. 2.

This years schedule of events starts at 6 p.m. on Aug. 2 with the wiener roast, D.J. Russ Buchanan and karaoke. Visitors will be provided with free hot dogs, marshmallows, popcorn, snocones, water, soda pop and chips.

There also will be bingo, card games, a sing-a-long and twist and floss dance off.

On Aug. 3, things get started at 10 a.m. with the Wellsburg Museum Scavenger Hunt; 11 a.m., Cindy’s Fitness Fusion; 11:30 a.m., yoga with Dr. Pamela Nichols; noon bounce houses, hot dogs, burgers, buns, fried chicken, snocones, pop corn, water, candy and face painting by Kayley Ohler; 1 p.m., Earl Waugh Band; 2 p.m., Skye Murdock; 3 p.m., Mark Henderson; 4 p.m., R.J. Gaudio, the Troubadour; 5 p.m., Paint and Pizza with Darla Burns; 6 p.m., Brody McAllister; 7 p.m., Benjie Primis; 8 p.m., Burns family reunion band. There will be a music provided by D.J. Gooch from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

On Aug. 4 at 11 a.m., there will be a memorial service balloon launch and butterfly release by Heather Tokas.

At noon there will be a luncheon and events will conclude at 1 p.m. with the Buffington Brothers Band.

Anyone wishing to donate to the reunion can send donations to the First Ward Reunion, 60 Third St., Wellsburg, WV 26070.

For information contact Daniel Dudley at (304) 737-3309 or Jerry Nichols at (304) 737-1620.

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