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Thousands at wine and arts fest

May 27, 2007|By TRISH RUDDER

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - Good wine, artwork, music and sunshine were available Saturday at the 11th annual West Virginia Wine & Arts Festival.

Held at the Boydville Inn, festival chairwoman Mary Lewis said pleasant weekend weather will bring about 3,500 people to the event.

The festival is a fundraiser for The Arts Centre in Martinsburg, Lewis said.

Becky and Charlie Whitehill own Potomac Highland Winery in Keyser, W.Va., one of the seven wineries at the event.

They both retired from "real jobs," said Becky Whitehill, and since 1992, they have promoted their wine at festivals throughout the state.

The Whitehills were busy with a steady stream of people sampling wine.

Artwork, photographic prints, jewelry, hats and clothing were for sale among the wine booths and food vendors.

Jay and Debbie Shaw came from Gaithersburg, Md., to attend the festival for the first time.

"We saw it listed on the Web, and we wanted to sample wines and look at the crafts," Jay Shaw said.

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Jay Corbett and April Delauter of Hagerstown try to attend the festival every year, even when it rains, Delauter said.

They enjoy the music and like to sample the wine, Corbett said.

Nicci Burnett, Robyn Burkett and Scott Short came from the Winchester, Va., area to attend the festival for the first time. They had not had West Virginia wine before, and were impressed with it, Burkett said.

They were going to stay for the music, she said.

Karen Rice, president of The Arts Centre, said all proceeds from the festival go toward funding programs throughout the year, such as after-school arts in schools as well as exhibits and classes held at the center at 300 W. King St.

If you go

What: 11th annual West Virginia Wine & Arts Festival

When: Today, 1 to 6 p.m.

Where: Boydville Inn, 601 S. Queen St., Martinsburg, W.Va.

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