Discovery Junction Opens and Will Help Make Marlinton “Worth Going the Extra Mile For.”
That was just a little snippet of Mudhole Control playing at the grand opening of Discovery Junction in Marlinton on a beautiful Saturday afternoon of May 22nd. The event drew a crowd of probably a couple hundred people who brought their lawn chairs to the grassy park to enjoy the music and help celebrate the ribbon cutting for the new park and bandstand.
Following Mudhole control’s forty-five-minute opening bluegrass presentation, Marlinton Mayor Sam Felton gave a brief introduction then Boy Scout Troop 33, assisted by Cub Scout Pack 33 presented the colors and Pastor David Moore delivered the Invocation.
Joe Smith, the Chairman of the Discovery Junction Committee introduced the committee members and talked about all the hard work and planning that went into creating discovery Junction.
Lauren Bennett, Director of Pocahontas County Parks and Recreation talked about how Discovery Junction went from being a dream to a reality, while Cindy Sandeno, the District Ranger of the Marlinton-White Sulphur District of the Monongahela National Park talked about the project as well.
Following the official ribbon cutting which formally opened Discovery Junction, the crowd enjoyed several additional hours of live Bluegrass Music by the Black Mountain Boys and The Bing Brothers and Jake Krack.
As the wind blue and with the music in the background, we caught up with Mayor Felton and asked him just what Discovery Junction adds to the Town of Marlinton.
“Tim, I am excited about the possibilities,” said Felton. “It definitely has a commercial element to it, but the entertainment that it will provide for the area cannot be overstated. I even had a call from a neighbor of ours. I certainly wasn’t thinking about lawn chair sales w
hen we talked about the opening of Discovery Junction, but he told me prior to the show – and I knew that was going to be a good sign – he went to two of the dollar stores, got one at, I believe, Walgreens and had to go to Glades where they had five lawn chairs left, and one or two of those clerks said ‘what’s going on today?’ they had never sold so many lawn chairs in a day, so, I think that’s just one of those things when we think about how did our commercial activity in even something as simple as this project here today coming (that’s) coming to a conclusion. It provides excitement to the community, provides something to do. Some of these people, obviously, traveled from out of town, they’ll buy some gas, they’ll maybe go to one of the restaurants afterwards. So, it’s just a good excuse to bring people to town. Discovery Junction will give them an opportunity to get out of the car and enjoy themselves. Listen to the music in the background. How can that not make you smile?”
I guess it could also encourage people driving through to think this would be a nice place to live?
“I think it will too, that’s exactly right” Felton said. “Marlinton is worth the extra mile. I don’t know if you’ve been out to Minnehaha Springs intersection, we have a new kiosk out there that’s got some new advertisement on it. And, it is one of the first places people coming into the area begin to realize that there is more here that they might not be aware of, so we’re worth going the extra mile. There are two new businesses – as a matter of fact, if you were to turn around and look over your shoulder, there’s a new bike shop and I believe it’s Alison’s Pottery. You can see Katti and James’ ice cream truck -Little Rainbow Ice Cream Factory – or something along that lines. And it looks to me like she’s doing good today. Things like this helps heart, body, soul and adds a little bit to the pocketbook also.”