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Pumpkin Park Music Hall to host music and more

Oct. 27, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

West Virginia Pumpkin Park is best known for hosting the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival, which took place earlier this month at the park's location near Milton. But the venue has expanded and improved its facilities and is now slated to host various events year round.

Today, Oct. 27, will be a perfect example as Pumpkin Park has several attractions scheduled, including a bluegrass music concert.

"This weekend will feature the West Virginia Kids Consignment Sale with used clothing and toys," said Bill Kelley, who runs the venue. "There will also be an auction in one of the buildings today and then tonight is the bluegrass concert."

This evening's bluegrass show will feature No One You Know, a group based here in the Mountain State. The Mountain Fever Record label band features Don Anderson on bass and vocals, Ramie Bennett on banjo and vocals, Bruce Jones on Dobro, Lance Gainer on guitar and vocals and Rachel Burge on mandolin and lead vocals. Burge, from Summersville, W.Va., is a graduate of the Glenville State College Bluegrass Bachelor of Arts program that is run by musician and educator Buddy Griffin.

The group will perform in the newly-renovated Pumpkin Park Music Hall, which the venue plans to put to full use in the coming months and years.

The No One You Know bluegrass band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20. Concessions are available. The venue has heat and air conditioning and is smoke free.

"Pumpkin Park is owned and operated by the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival Inc.," said Kelley. "It is a non-profit organization with 25 board members. Our music hall, which was just completed, will seat 950 people. It is fully air conditioned and heated and we just put a $100,000 sound system in it. It's one of the showplaces in this area now. You'd have to go to Huntington or Charleston to find anything equivalent to it. We are starting to book different types of music from bluegrass to country to gospel, and we're hoping to start running one to two shows a month in the building after we get going. And, if it builds up to every weekend, that will be great, too."

The Music Hall has booked a couple of marquee acts for 2013. Ernie Haase and Signature Sound will play March 2 while Dailey and Vincent will take the stage on June 15.

Another attraction at West Virginia Pumpkin Park is the old covered bridge which was built back in the 1800s and was restored and relocated a few years ago. It has become the center of attention with its own events and special occasions.

"The covered bridge dates way back and it used to set just west of its current location," said Kelley. "It was behind the old middle school for years and then the state moved it and stored it for years. They were going to put it across the river east of town, but we negotiated with them and got them to put it at the park as an attraction. There are about 20 to 30 weddings conducted on that bridge every year. School graduates come there for picture taking and so forth because it makes for such a beautiful backdrop."

For more information about the West Virginia Pumpkin Park and the Pumpkin Park Music Hall, including upcoming musical acts, go online at www.wvpumpkinpark.com or call 304-638-1633.