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Oil & Gas Festival In Sistersville

By Randy Rutherford - Staff Writer | Sep 22, 2021

Tyler Consolidated High School making their way downtown Sistersville

The 53rd annual West Virginia Oil and Gas Festival was held this past weekend in Sistersville, West Virginia to celebrate and pay tribute to the rich history of the oil and gas industry in the community.

During the festival, Marc A. Halbritter, 2021 Oil and Gas Person of the Year, was honored at a special luncheon held at the First Presbyterian Church on Saturday in Sistersville. Immediately following the luncheon Mr. Halbritter served as Parade Marshall for the Grand Oil and Gas Trophy Parade.

The new sidewalks in town were packed full of adults and children anxious for the parade to begin at 1:00 p.m., even though fans encountered high humidity and temperatures topping out in the 80’s. Marching bands also had to endure the heat and traveled here from as far away as Charleston and Winfield. It was the first time in two years Sistersville was able to host the parade because of the pandemic, and the cheering crowd said it all. It was great to have our local favorite bands from Tyler Consolidated, Paden City High School, Valley High School and Hundred High School proudly march through the center of town on freshly paved streets decked out in their finery. Along with the bands, 2021 Oil and Gas Queen Emma Kitchen made her way down Wells Street in a blue Chevelle throwing out candy to the kids lined up on the sidewalks.

The Oil and Gas Engine Show was held daily at the city park while a variety of entertainment performed on the park stage featuring the Gospel Harmony Boys of Charleston WV, PT Dabbs Band from Parkersburg, WV, and local talent the Shortline Junction Band. Other activities included an Art Show held at the Gaslight Theater and the always popular Band-A-Rama held at Tyler Consolidated High School.

One of the more interesting and fun events was the wrench throwing contest dominated by the Adams family. Jeremy Adams won the adult division while Elizabeth Adams won the under 18 age group division. And not to be left out was Andrew Adams taking the under 10 age group division title.

Marlin Geho displays his 20 HP Olin and 8 Hp engines. He hails from New Freeport, PA

All and all, the festival offered many different activates and events, even though COVID continues to cause disruptions for festivals throughout the valley. Many vendors pulled out as the states rate of spread continues to trend in the wrong direction. The activities that were able to function were popular and enjoyed by those attending.

The annual Band-A-Rama was held at Tyler Consolidated immediately following the parade with nine bands participating. Following the performances from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., each band received awards for their performances in several different categories. The Grand Champion for parade and field was awarded to George Washington High School. Paden City won the Cheer award, with Winfield winning the People’s Choice Award. Among the other awards won by the Wildcat Band was gold in Honor band, Field Commander and Overall Performance. Valley High School received a bronze in Honor band, Field Commander and Overall Performance.

Special thanks go out to the Sistersville Community Service Organization for their continuing efforts to present the Historic Oil & Gas Festival in the community each year.

Some of the many paintings from the Art Gallery

Adams Family wins Wrench throwing contest at Oil and Gas festival

George Washington, Grand Champion Parade Winner and Grand Champion Field Winner

Oil and Gas Festival Lunceon, Pictured L-R Ken Mason, Lloyd Jackson, Mrs. Jackson, Debbie Halbritter, Mark Halbritter, Barb Vincent, Leone Burd, Charlie Burd, Ben Hardesty