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Clear Spring treats area to Independence jam

July 03, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

CLEAR SPRING -- Practical minded, Clear Spring celebrated the nation's birthday a day early.

A day can make a large difference for a group of volunteers throwing an independence party.

"Fireworks are like Valentine's roses," said David Wiles, the president of the Clear Spring District Historical Association. "They double the price on the 4th."

So, for the fourth straight year, Clear Spring had an Independence Eve Jam Celebration.

Last year's jam, on a Thursday, attracted about 2,000 people to Plumb Grove, off Broadfording Road, Wiles said.

This year, July 3 was a Friday, giving event organizers reason to believe the crowd would be bigger.

Lori Divelbiss, part of the four-person Independence Jam Committee that planned the event, said one woman told her big July 4 celebrations sometimes feel too commercial.

The Independence Eve Jam Celebration feels "very, very country and nostalgic," Divelbiss said.

The celebration is one of two big annual fundraisers for the historical association, said Barbara Clopper and Dotty Drass, co-chairs of the food portion of the event.

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The historical association owns Plumb Grove, as well as an old post office building and a building known as Browns' Meeting House, the women said.

Drass said volunteers started preparing and freezing food for Friday's jam as early as March.

Clopper said they were ready for about 1,000 customers. The food supply included 960 hot dogs, 80 pounds of steamers and 360 ears of corn.

Last year's jam celebration raised about $2,000, Drass said.

The preparations came together in time for Friday's festivities, which was scheduled to include four musical acts, then a performance of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Children played games, most of which involved throwing -- balls, rings and bean bags.

Scott Long, 7, wound up and fired balls at pretend cans stacked on a hay bale.

With his mother, Crystal, and uncle, T.J. Line, looking on, Scott said he plays baseball, but he's a catcher and first baseman, not a pitcher.

During his turn, Scott's 3-year-old brother, Logan, moved closer to the stack of cans, but lacked his older brother's velocity and aim.

Jason Clark and his fiancée, Heather Barnes, said they drove to Clear Spring from Inwood, W.Va., because the jam celebration looked like a good time for the four young children with them -- 4-year-old Mackenzie, 4-year-old Breana, 3-year-old Sierra, and Evan, who will turn 1 next month.

"It's a community event," Divelbiss said, "and we'd like it to stay that way."

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