Family competes in Morgan fair's video contest

August 01, 2009|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- If you want to learn how to prepare a black snake for dinner, make sure to attend the Morgan County Fair today at Berkeley Springs High School.

Among the exhibits this weekend is the fair's first video contest, which is sponsored by the Forum for Arts, Sciences and Technologies (FAST). The videos can be seen in the FAST learning room.

The Bellissimo family of Berkeley Springs swept the winning video categories.

Robby Bellissimo and his father, Bob, won first place for "How to Prepare Snake" in the Social Studies category. They also won first place in the Technologies category and second place in both Arts and Sciences.

Robby's brother, Anthony, 19, a freshman at Shepherd University majoring in digital film, won first place in both the Arts and Sciences categories.


Robby, 12, an eighth-grader at Warm Springs Middle School, said he teamed with his father, Bob Bellissimo, and competed against his brother.

Bob Bellissimo said the snake video idea occurred when a black snake was in their yard and had hold of a baby chick. He said he struck it, but the snake would not let go of the chick. When he struck the snake again, he killed it.

The video shows they skinned the snake, cleaned it, cut it up and cooked it by frying some and sautéing the rest in a barbecue-type sauce. It also shows them eating it.

"It was tough and there's not much meat," Bob Bellissimo said.

They both liked the barbecue flavor better than the fried, but they ate it all, he said.

Bob Bellissimo said making the video "was a blast."

"I watched it about 50 times," he said.

Robby said the snake video was his favorite. He said he learned how to make a video, edit it and how to cook a snake.

Bill Lands of FAST, who won this year's President's Award, said the short video contest was created to get residents participating in the community. He said FAST began in 2004 to advance informal education to Morgan County residents.

Laura Smith was named the 2009 Volunteer of the Year.

"The fair is a great community project, and I've always been a supporter," Smith said.

Relda White, a Community Educational Outreach Service member who heads up the Home Arts Department for the fair, said the silent auction of baked goods and the scones and muffins that are sold for fair fundraising might be expanded for next year to include a cookbook.

White said it's only in the planning stages, but the cookbook would include recipes for baked goods. It would be sold at the fair to raise funds for the fair.

Larry Lower, president of the Morgan County Fair Board, said about 3,000 people were expected to attend the fair.

If you go

What: Morgan County Fair

When: Today, noon to 6 p.m.; music begins at 12:30 p.m.

Where: Berkeley Springs (W.Va.) High School

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