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Bridgeport’s Benedum Festival to mark 20th year

Exponent Telegram photo by Ashlie Walter Jason McCall, chairman of the Bridgeport Benedum Festival, goes over last-minute preparations for this year’s festival, which will be held Thursday through Saturday in Bridgeport City Park.
Exponent Telegram photo by Ashlie Walter
Jason McCall, chairman of the Bridgeport Benedum Festival, goes over last-minute preparations for this year’s festival, which will be held Thursday through Saturday in Bridgeport City Park.

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — What started as a small event in a field has grown into the annual Benedum Festival in Bridgeport.

The festival, which will run Thursday through Saturday, will celebrate 20 years this year.

The Benedum Festival has improved dramatically over the years, Treasurer Eileen Frank said.

“It started with just a small event in the park. We just had the community clubs, for example the Newcomers, Women’s Club and various civic groups had food booths,” she said.

The festival was celebrated in the park before the park was paved — there were just rocks and debris, Frank said.

“We really started at the bare-bones minimum,” she said.

The festival committee didn’t know what to expect the first year, Frank said.

But as the festival progressed, the Pet Parade and Benedum Pageant were added.

Now the festival has a talent show that features numerous performers, Frank said.

The festival also has an Oil and Gas Expo where businesses in that industry set up displays, answer questions and solicit resumes.

Frank predicted this year’s expo will be bigger than last year’s.

“Word got out last year what they did, and the jobs got out there,” she said…

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