FestivALL Events Take Over Charleston

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Charleston's FestivALL is in full swing and Saturday's events kicked off with the Art Parade.

Creations of all kinds walked Capitol Street to begin the day's festivities, but before each walking piece of art took over the streets, Charleston Mayor Danny Jones made a special proclamation.

Jones made the day "Peter Marshall Day." The former actor and host of Hollywood Squares was parade grand marshall.

Marshall is originally from Huntington, West Virginia and says it's good to be back home.

"These West Virginia hills, when I flew in last night, I could look out and see the hills. I just get a chill. There's something about this state that I just really love," Marshall said.

Marshall will host Charleston's own version of Hollywood Squares. It's 'West Virginia Squares', and it's being filmed by West Virginia PBS.

If you were one of thousands walking along the Kanawha Boulevard Saturday morning, then you know that the smell of chili was in the air.

It was all because of this year's 'Smoke on the Water Chili Cook-off.'

Vendors fixed their best recipes in hopes of winning the People's Choice Award.

"The smoke on the water chili cook off committee does such great work. Last year we were down in front of the capitol for West Virginia's 150th. This year we're back home at Haddad Park where we're used to and the crowd is awesome," Jeff Sikorovsky, Hospicecare's marketing director said.

Organizers say 3,000 to 5,000 people took part in the cook off. All money raised will go to the non-profit, Hospicecare of West Virginia.

Also Saturday was one of FestivALL's most anticipated events; the 8th annual wiener dog race.

This year's race was at Stonewall Jackson Middle School where dogs took to the track, racing for the gold.

Along with the race, there was a fetch competition and a costume contest.

All proceeds from the race were donated to the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association.

"If you had asked me or told me 10 years ago I'd be at the wiener dog contest, I'd have been like 'nah, you're crazy,' but my wife loves wiener dogs and this is my 3rd year here and I absolutely love it. It's fun for the whole family, my daughter loves it and this is Tucker's 3rd race this year," Kevin Simmons, a dog owner, said.

Dozens of dogs participated in the competitions.

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