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Fayette holiday festival offers bang for $5

| Saturday, June 29, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Fayette Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Independence Day Festival beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Uniontown Mall.

This marks the 18thconsecutive year for the celebration, which will take place on the Uniontown Mall grounds near the newly dedicated Veterans' Flag.

“We will have something there for everyone,” Kathy Dowling said. “We're very excited about all the things our vendors have planned.”

As membership services coordinator for the Fayette Chamber, Dowling plays an active role in the festivities, pitching in where help is needed. She, along with Chamber Finance Manager, Deb Hull, and Executive Director, Muriel Nuttall, plan to make it a family affair.

“My entire family will be there from beginning to end,” Dowling said. “This is an enormous undertaking. We're fortunate enough to have sponsors provide us with wonderful volunteers. Without everyone's hard work, this event would not be possible.”

The festival is sponsored in large part by local contributors, such as James Vending, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa, Duke Energy, Froggy and Pickle Radio, and many others. A number of sponsors will set up booths for the public to enjoy.

In an effort to provide a family-friendly experience, many vendors in attendance will host free activities for children. In addition to inflatable bounce houses and face painting, the local Girl Scouts of America and Home Depot will sponsor various crafts. MedExpress will allow children the chance to make their own first aid kits.

Children under 12 also receive free admission to the Independence Day Festival. The entrance fee for adults is $5.

“Our goal is to host a fun and affordable event the whole family can enjoy,” Dowling said.

Those in attendance will enjoy live entertainment throughout the evening. The Neon Swing X-perience kick-starts the evening's performances. The band, whose music is a unique mixture of jazz, swing, and rock, released their seventh full-length studio album, titled “Grandpa Tempo: The Chairman of Swing,” in 2012.

Popular regional act Metro takes the stage at 5 p.m. in the hopes of not only entertaining the crowd with Top 40 hits from the last three decades, but a truly interactive experience that allows the audience to get closer to the show than they've ever imagined.

“Metro's been in the area for years,” Dowling said. “People know their music. It's an honor to have them perform for us.”

Headlining this year's Independence Day Festival is The Steve Smith Band. The Nashville recording artist and West Virginia native promises a lively and exciting show.

“Steve Smith's music is all over Froggy radio lately,” Dowling said. “We're really looking forward to his performance.”

During the festivities, patrons have the opportunity to try some of the area's best food, including barbecued ribs, chicken wings, pulled pork sandwiches, and much more.

Among the vendors, the Historic Stone House Restaurant and Inn will feature smoked entrees, and the Boston Beanery will share its famous curly fries.

“There will be a myriad of different foods and some sweet desserts, all at great prices,” Dowling said. “Jackson Farms is bringing their ice cream. We're all looking forward to that.”

Traditional festival snacks can be found at the Fayette Chamber's booth, and adult beverages will be available for purchase.

For those who don't want to attend the festival but still want to be part of the celebration, the real fun begins at dusk. This year, Chevron is sponsoring “Fireworks Over Fayette,” following the Independence Day Festival.

“We definitely want to thank Chevron for their huge presence and support in our community each year,” Dowling said.

Keystone Fireworks promises to provide a spectacular pyrotechnic display for onlookers of all ages to enjoy.

Although the fireworks are very visible from the festival grounds, you'll find Fayette County residents stationed all over the city watching the show.

“Some people even pull over on the side of the highway just to watch the Keystone Fireworks each year,” she said.

Overall, Dowling calls the Independence Day Festival her favorite Fayette Chamber of Commerce event of the year.

“Everyone's in a good mood, the community comes together for the day to support each other, and the food and entertainment is fantastic,” she said. “It's a great way for our Chamber members to give back to the community.”

For more information about the Fayette Chamber of Commerce Independence Day Festival Featuring Chevron Presents: “Fireworks Over Fayette,” visit

Kaylie Harper is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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