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Martinsburg hosts railroading festival

July 17, 2003

In its fifth year, Martinsburg Rail Day has grown into Rail Days.

Last year's one-day event attracted more than 2,000 people to Martinsburg Roundhouse Center, and Bill Hayes, the center's executive director, expects 3,000 people to check out the expanded festivities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 19, and Sunday, July 20.

"There's entertainment all day, both days," he says.

More than 50 craftspeople will be joined by musicians, food vendors, model train exhibitors and Civil War re-enactors. Antique cars and farm equipment will be on display around the center at 100 Liberty St. in Martinsburg, W.Va. Plenty of activitites will be set up for children, too.

Bill Haley's Comets will perform at 2 p.m. Saturday, and Coley McCabe is lined up for 2 p.m. Sunday. Tori Anderson and Possum Holler are on the concert bill both days.

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Along with blacksmith demonstrations, a group will show how railroad rails were moved and set in place.

Admission will cost $5 each for those 12 and older; free for younger children. Proceeds will go toward renovation of the center, which was built in 1866.

Parking will cost $5 at the festival, but a free shuttle will bus people from other areas, including Blue Ridge Outlet Center, Belle Boyd House and the intersection of North Queen and Burke streets.

Hayes says signs throughout the city and near Interstate 81 will point the way to the center and shuttle points.

If the model trains and demonstrations are not enough to draw railroad buffs, there's always the real thing.

"Amtrak and CSX will be going by all day," Hayes says.

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