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SwineFest, a community success

“A Hillbilly Homecoming” helps to restore the town of Guyandotte

Published: Sunday, September 12, 2010

Updated: Sunday, September 12, 2010 19:09

The streets of Guyandotte, W.Va., were decorated with clotheslines and bails of hay as the fourth annual SwineFest came to a close Sunday.

The three-day festival, themed "A Hillbilly Homecoming," crowded Main Street in Guyandotte with carnival rides, a hog callin' contest, buttered corn on the cob and live entertainment.

"The SwineFest is a great thing for this community," said Roger Hesson, a former resident of Guyandotte. "It brings a great atmosphere, good food and friends."

Roger Hesson and his wife Bernice married in 1955 and worked in Guyandotte.

"This is where our roots are," Hesson said. "This festival is about restoring the town we love and saving the history of it."

Saturday's festivities included a bell ceremony by the Huntington Fire Department Honor Guard to honor the ones who perished in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The VFW Post #9738 Honor Guard fired a 21-gun salute.

Christopher Chiles, prosecuting attorney of Cabell County, came to sing the National Anthem during the memorial.

"I think it's important for everyone to remember Sept. 11 and how America has bounced back," Chiles said. "We'll never forget."

Chiles said he thinks SwineFest is a great way for the people of Guyandotte to show community spirit and take pride in their hometown.

The mission of SwineFest is to restore the town of Guyandotte and put money back into the community.

Greg Goode, a library volunteer from Ceredo-Kenova, W.Va., came to the SwineFest to paint childrens faces. He set up a booth where he made balloon animals and provided free face painting. This is his third year returning to the festival.

"I do it for the kids," Goode said. "I don't charge anything because it's all about having a good time, and I'd rather see them put their money toward rides or some good food."

Goode also teaches art at Cerdeo-Kenova  Elementary on Mondays.

"I have the best job in the world," Goode said.

He said he gets just as much enjoyment out of it as the kids do.

Rick Simmons, executive director and chairman of SwineFest Solutions said this has been the most successful SwineFest yet.

"The whole week has been great," Simmons said. "Everything has went as planned, and it's been a success."

Ashton Bias can be contacted at

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