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A few thousand pack park for Jubilee

June 13, 1999

Model planeBy BRYN MICKLE /Staff Writer, Martinsburg

photos: MARLA BROSE / staff photographer




MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Despite a late afternoon rain shower that thinned the crowds, organizers were pleased with Sunday's turnout at War Memorial Park in Martinsburg.

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A few thousand people were at the park as part of the 12th annual June Jubilee celebration, said Steve Catlett, the executive director of the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks and Recreation Department.

What started in 1987 as an attempt to get more people to use the park has become one of the park's most popular days, Catlett said.

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"This is nice event for families. It has something for everybody," he said.

This year's June Jubilee raised about $5,000 toward upkeep of the park, event organizer Ted Morgan said.

Car showThe event was free for the public, but Morgan said the park was able to raise money from car show entry fees, ice cream sales and vendor fees.

"It went great except for the weather and even that turned out to be OK," Morgan said.

The day hit a slight snag when the Chicken Hopper moonwalk sprang a leak, but Morgan said children were still able to go on train rides and watch Ronald McDonald.

While children had their faces painted and rode ponies, older visitors listened to music or sampled the wares of several food vendors in the park.

One of the more popular attractions this year was the car and truck show, Catlett said.

More than 130 cars and trucks from West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania lined the park with their owners showing off polished engines and boasting about performance.

George Hammond said he had one reason for driving his restored 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air from Williamsport to Martinsburg for the day: "I like to show it off."

The success of this year's June Jubilee is further evidence of the renewed popularity of War Memorial Park, Morgan said.

"The park is in the best shape it's ever been in," he said.

Future plans for the park include a $1 million project to cover the park pool to create a year-round aquatic center, he said.

The park has raised about a quarter of the funds needed for the plan, Morgan said.

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