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Jubilee is popular June tradition in Martinsburg

June 11, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - With a little imagination, you could have felt like you were in the tropics.

Cathy MacCumbee and her father, Bob, ground ice and fruit juice to make their fruit smoothies, and a line of people waited to make their way to the stand.

An umbrella simulating a grass roof flapped in the warm breeze and the aroma of grilled food drifted from other booths.

Patti Horner-Crim and two other family members stood with the rest of the crowd in line.

"It's hot," said Horner-Crim, hinting at the need for a drink.

The Bunker Hill, W.Va., woman was one of thousands of people who jammed into War Memorial Park in Martinsburg Sunday for the annual June Jubilee.

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The event, in its 20th year, was started as a way to attract people to the park along Tennessee Avenue. About 800 people came the first year, and the event has grown tremendously.

Although event chairman Ted Morgan said it is difficult now to estimate how many people attend, he said probably 8,000 people come each year to enjoy attractions like craft sales, a car show, music and swimming in the park's pool.

As in past years, residential streets around the park became clogged Sunday with people trying to find a place to park.

"That's good. We want people to come here," Morgan said.

Sunday's installment of the jubilee continued to break records. A big attraction is the car show; 156 cars were entered this year, the most ever, Morgan said.

About 140 cars were entered last year.

For $5, children could enjoy as many rounds as they wanted on attractions like pony rides and a moon bounce. Organizers sold the most tickets ever for the rides on Sunday, Morgan said.

Also, a record number of 31 businesses acted as sponsors to pay for expenses like the live music and awards for those competing in the car show, Morgan said.

People said they like the free event because it's a good way to spend time with family without being hard on the pocketbook.

Morgan said previously that many events that offer arts and crafts "close the gate" and charge an admission.

Horner-Crim said she comes to the event every year and on Sunday, she joined with members of the 365 Church, in addition to family members.

"It's just a great time for fellowship," Horner-Crim said.

Near the craft booths, David Kalmbach was offering his wax hands to children. Kids dipped their hands in soapy water, then Kalmbach guided them into melted wax.

The kids pulled their hands out, creating an instant keepsake for family members.

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