By Bob Weaver 2001

Molasses maker Deward Offutt

The 34th annual West Virginia Molasses Festival opened with slightly chilly weather yesterday. Molasses maker Deward Offutt of Millstone arrived to gear-up the molasses mill, pressing the cane squeezins' and processing the sugary syrup.

Offutt has contributed to the project since it started, bringing with him the old time skill to make the popular product. Offutt said his long-time partner "Pete (referring to Pete Bush) hasn't been up to par this week, but I went up to make sure it was o.k. to go ahead without him." Molasses will be for sale through Saturday.

Some really good country music

They would really like this in Australia

Dozens of out-of-state campers, mostly former Calhouners, had found their spot on the lower end of the field, and the crowd was picking up by 7 p.m. The festival is a county fair, molasses squeezin' and homecoming, rolled into one.

Quilts, canned food, fresh produce, pictures and lots of crafts had already gone on display, and many of the products had already received ribbons. The fairway was open with dozens of booths and several rides, but receiving most attention was food. Lots of food.

Prize-winning goodies

Fresh from the vine

The evening progressed with the crowning of the King and Queen of the Molasses Festival and a Pretty Baby Contest.

Today's events include a molasses making demonstration with music on the outdoor stage. A sausage and pancake supper is scheduled from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., followed by gospel music starting at 7 p.m.

Zella Boone's "Best of Show" quilt

Saturday is parade day with the Grand Parade starting at 1 p.m. The Calhoun High School Red Devil Band will perform, along with dozen of entries. The parade travels west on U.S. 33-119 past the Molasses Festival grounds. There will be a volleyball tournament along with youth activities starting at 10 a.m. Judging of horses and wagons at noon.

The chicken barbecue will begin serving at 11 a.m. Music for the day will be country and bluegrass. Most importantly will be visitin' time, returning to the community and renewing old friendships.

Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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