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Swinefest to feature homegrown wrestling talent at next week fest

Sep. 01, 2011 @ 07:19 PM

HUNTINGTON —  Swinefest, organized by the non-profit group, Swinefest Solutions, runs Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 8 through 10, with a full plate of events under the theme of “Guyandotte Goes Hollywood.”

 The fest, which opens at 4 p.m. Thursday with the street fair and carnival, will feature a parade at 6 p.m. with a host of local participants led by the grand marshal, veteran country-rocker, Gary Sellars, who will be playing from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday with his Stoned Country Band.

 Immediately after the parade, there will be a Hollywood celebrity auction that will benefit the non-profit group, Green Acres. Simmons, who has been volunteering this past year to help Green Acres, do some fundraising, said they have about 40 autographed items including a John Travolta-signed “Grease” movie poster, a book by former President Bill Clinton, photos signed by former President George Bush, one from the “Pawn Stars” TV show and NASCAR memorabilia as well.

 Simmons said they’re tapping into a slew of homegrown music talent from such veteran country rockers as Angie Fletcher Band to newcomers such as Kala DeHart and River Town.

 Another homegrown aspect of the fest is that Simmons put together a wrestling troupe, “Swinefest Wrestling,” to present a show at 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 9-10.

 “We’re calling it where homegrown talent becomes legend,” Simmons said. “For years there was nothing in Guyandotte and to me that is the main factor in what we are doing is to bring the talent and to show that Guyandotte and Huntington has a lot to offer not only in wrestling but in the whole concept. There is pride in homegrown talent.”

The wrestling card includes, Steve Backlund, Blazin Eagle, Damien Matthews, Ricky Armoni, Johnny Blast, Smokey C, Josh Ryder, Dain Bramage, Revelation, Mitchell,and Danny Ray.

 “As usual we’ve stepped out of the box and are producing our own wrestling extravaganza with all local talent and to show people there is more to do than drinking, drugging, stealing and clubbing,” Simmons said. “We’ve got all aspects of talent whether it is wrestling, singing or putting on a festival. There’s a lot of different ways to give young people an avenue to showcase it.”

Read more about Swinefest and its Saturday night ghost tour next week in The Herald-Dispatch.