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Fundraiser marks 30 years of ushering in summertime

Streets in Virgilina will be overflowing with festival-goers this Saturday as the town kicks off the 30th anniversary of Summerfest, the primary fundraiser for the Virgilina Volunteer Fire Department.

This year’s celebration, which unofficially marks the start of the summer season in Halifax County, will get under way with a parade at 11 a.m., led by the Rev. Jay Whitley who will serve as the grand marshal. Whitley is credited with having the idea for Virgilina to hold its annual Summerfest. He served as a minister for the Union Christian Church from 1981-1985.

 He and his wife, Cathy, now reside in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he serves as the minister of Bethany Church of Christ. They have two children and two grandchildren.

No one will go hungry during Saturday’s big day in Virgilina. The lunch menu includes barbecue sandwiches, stew by the bowl and hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries and other foods, while barbecue pork and chicken plates will be available starting at 2 p.m.

A number of arts and crafts vendors will set up shop on the street during the day, and games and rides will provide thrills for the kids.

Look for an appearance by the Centra Health and Life Flight helicopters during the afternoon.

Live entertainment starts at 12:30 p.m. and continues until 5 p.m. beginning with Sourwood Mountain followed by Hager Mountain Boys, Hi-Grass and Brown Brothers.

The Konnection Band will take the stage from 6 to 9 p.m. for the annual street dance to end the day’s festivities.

A Virgilina Volunteer Fire Association raffle drawing will be held every hour from 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. for a cash prize of $100 and a “Lonestar” quilt, donated and quilted by Elizabeth Smith.

Be sure to purchase a 30th anniversary T-shirt that will be for sale Saturday available in a variety of colors and sizes for children, men and women.

Many local businesses are sponsoring this year’s 30th annual Virgilina Summerfest.