As if the women at Sisters Fest needed any encouragement, they're sure to get into the theme this year-Wild, Wild West Sisters Fest. The fun-filled event will be held March 16 and 17 in Sistersville.
An event for sisters or even just close friends, Sisters Fest is for women age 16 and up headquartered in the Sistersville Elks ballroom. It begins Friday night at 6 p.m. with an appetizer and dessert contest. Attendees are encouraged to bring their best appetizer or dessert, along with one copy of the recipe if they would like to share it, for their fellow Sisters Fest participants to taste and vote on their favorites. First through third places are awarded in each category and an additional prize is given for the best theme food.
Immediately following the tasting event is the annual variety show. This has become a favorite for the fun-loving "sisters" who enjoy laughing at the wide variety of acts who are brave enough to take the stage. "It's just an all-out fun time when the ladies get creative and entertain their friends-even ones they haven't met yet!" said Betsy Westfall, committee member and emcee of the variety show.
As always on Friday evening and throughout the weekend, Sisters Fest attendees are welcome to spend some time in the Elks bar. However, some women in the past have expressed a desire for a late-night alternative. So this year after the variety show there will also be some line dancing in the ballroom and maybe even some square dancing, to go along with the western theme.
Saturday's events begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Elks Ballroom with breakfast by the Sistersville Volunteer Fire Department, served through 10:30 a.m. At 9:30 a.m. the Cowgirl Games will begin. Learn how to rope a "calf", play some horseshoes, have an old-time wild west photo taken, just have some fun. Always up for a contest, the ladies are invited to decorate a stick horse and bring it to be judged at 10 a.m. Who knows, they may even ride them around the ballroom in their own derby.
Once again the ladies will take to the street for a parade. It will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Charles Street in front of the Wells Inn. Any community groups who wish to be in the parade should call Betsy Westfall at 304-771-8699. Dave Wells and his horse-drawn wagon will lead the parade and continue to the post office, where a group photo will be taken.
Wells and his old-fashioned mode of transportation will then take the ladies on a scenic ride to the Durham Mansion for lunch, thanks to the hospitality of Dan and Linda Marrin and culinary creations of the Lions Club Women. The first group will ride from the post office after the photo but the following groups will get onto the wagon at the Elks. The wagon rides are free for those attending the luncheon.
Traditionally held in the morning, the extremely popular "How Well Do You Know Your Sister?" game show will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Elks ballroom. This event, similar to The Newlywed Game, always elicits laughter as sisters and friends reveal secrets and bicker over the right answers. The winners get the coveted crowns and reign over the annual event.
The final event of the weekend, the annual banquet will begin at 6 p.m. The banquet always serves as a great wrap-up to the weekend's activities. Not only do attendees get a final chance to cement newfound friendships, but various contest winners are announced and door prizes are given. Once again the Elks will cater the event, serving barbeque chicken and traditional accompaniments.
Pre-registration is encouraged and may be required to ensure a place at the banquet. Also, all persons with registrations in by March 7 will be entered into a drawing for a prize of $100 cash.
The cost to attend Sisters Fest is done on an a la carte basis with all attendees required to pay an $8 registration fee. After that the fee is based on what events sisters want to attend. The appetizer contest, variety show, cowgirl games, and game show are included in the registration, but additional charges are levied for breakfast, $6; luncheon, $10; and banquet, $14. "Where else can you have a weekend of fun with your sister and/or friends for only $38, which includes three meals, four if you count the appetizers and desserts for dinner on Friday night?" asks Westfall.