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Local Ladies Gather For Fellowship at Sisters Fest

By Staff | Mar 21, 2018

Photo by Shelly Smith Sisters Fest attendees gather for the annual group photo.

Editor’s Note: Kelly Soloman, eldest granddaughter of Adam and Shannon Kelly, e-mailed us her thoughts on this past weekend’s Sisters Fest. Read, and enjoy, below:


That is the overwhelming feeling of Sisters Fest 2018 for me.

My family has been in attendance at Sisfers Fest for all but the first year. In that time, our contingent has grown. We often have representation of the oldest, sometimes the youngest and sometimes the person who traveled the farthest of the attendees.

Most importantly, we enjoy descending on the town of Sistersville where my grandmother, Shannon Kelly, has made her home for over half a century. We all have special memories of Sistersville and with visiting family. We relish the opportunity each year to form new memories at Sisters Fest.

Life happens.

That’s such a generic truth that doesn’t need to be written, but marking time with family holidays, like Sisters Fest, reminds one of previous years and the time that has passed in between.

I can only imagine that we are like most families. We have experienced death, marriages, battles with cancer, illness, teenage angst, aging and host of life experiences all packed into a single year.

Still, my gratitude is bountiful.

Life is never perfect. Families are made of people and people are flawed. What is perfect is love. It’s the tie that binds and the weave that makes us such a close knit family even though we may be divided in physical distance and sometimes even emotional distance. Regardless, our love draws us near.

So it was for Sisters Fest 2018. We drew near for the love of family and this little town that has played host to many memories.

The Allen Sisters entertained with their synchronized swimming. The Forrester Sisters dazzled with their costumes and adorable ice skates. The Westfalls impressed with their sister group of four.

The love at Sisters Fest is tangible, love for each other and love for the town.

I am grateful to the organizers who have put on a fabulous event year after year. It has given my family and many others the excuse to come together and celebrate another year. Thank you.

Next year’s theme is the Roaring 20s, which is appropriate for so many reasons; it’s the 20th anniversary of Sisters Fest and the Roaring 20s of our century will be less than a year away.

Can you imagine what Sistersville was like during the Prohibition era?

At that time, Sistersville was at the height of its population boom with over twice the population of today. Oil was still king, with the wooden derricks rhythmically freeing crude from the earth.

In 1920, the Wells Inn was only 25 years old and Durham mansion was in the process being built to be completed in 1921.

How amazing it must have been to see the Ohio bustling with boats steaming north and south loaded with various sundries.

I can only imagine some of those goods were illicit and destined for makeshift bars and speakeasies in Sistersville.

I’m very much looking forward to Sisters Fest 2019, where we will celebrate the Roaring 20s and each other.

And I will be grateful that we can be together again.