One of the most popular bands in Appalachian bluegrass music has included Weston on its autumn tour with an evening performance on Wednesday, October 17, as part of a downtown business promotion.
The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers will play in Bailey House, the new music, dining and performance venue at 128 Main Avenue in Weston, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Doors open early at 6 p.m. for a first-act performance by LC Blue, the Lewis County High School student bluegrass ensemble at 6:30 p.m.
Advanced purchase tickets are $10 for adults and $2 for students. Tickets are currently available at Thyme Bistro (across the street from Bailey House) and Weston City Hall, or by phoning Mayor Julia Spelsberg at 304-517-8612.
Admission at the door on the night of event is $15. Proceeds will benefit music programming in Lewis County schools.
A look at the band’s website shows a schedule with near constant touring in West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, with the occasional side trip to Michigan or North Carolina, among other destinations.
Over time, all that touring helped get the word out about the five member ensemble, and that notoriety grew to new heights when the band headlined Pickin’ in Parsons, West Virginia’s biggest bluegrass festival, and one of the top bluegrass festivals on the East Coast.
Local bluegrass aficionado and a Destination Weston volunteer, Lee Gainer, said she and her husband, Brian, are very familiar with “the Stragglers” as they are called by fans.
“Their shows are very dynamic, very entertaining. I am so excited that we can have this band come to our little community,” Gainer added.
The band was contracted through support from a regional arts organization interested in expanding the area’s cultural inventory with performances by groups that might not otherwise be scheduled.
The choice of bluegrass music was in response to local interest, and the band located through consultation with people in the entertainment industry.
“The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers were the first band mentioned by many we spoke with,” said Eric Spelsberg, a volunteer helping with the event. “They’ve been selling out bluegrass places like Purple Fiddle in Thomas and Gene’s Famous Beer Garden in Morgantown, so we hope they’ll attract a good crowd to Weston too. Lots of bluegrass fans around here.”
The downtown promotion is being called “Destination Weston”, the first event in a series. The series is part of an informal (at present) strategic marketing program designed to position Weston as a destination for travelers on Interstate 79 and the “soon too-be-completed” US 48, commonly called Corridor H.
“Corridor H has been in the works for more than 30 years, so a completion date that is just four years away seems like it is ‘pretty soon’ to us,” added Spelsberg. “’Destination Weston’ is focused on downtown Weston, and if successful, should prepare Weston and everyone else in the Weston and Lewis County community, to better take advantage of the opportunities the new highway presents.”
Destination Weston organizers plan to recruit attractions like TALA and the Mountaineer Military Museum, which are within walking distance to the downtown business district, in the promotion.
Caplan’s Jewelry, the Museum of American Glass and Thyme Bistro are already participating in the promotion. Others vested in downtown Weston’s future will also be encouraged to get involved.
For more information on Destination Weston, contact Mayor Spelsberg or email to: [email protected]