Chamber prepares for the summer of events | News, Sports, Jobs

FOLLANSBEE – Those looking to get more out of it this summer are invited to attend monthly events planned by the Follansbee Chamber of Commerce.

May 21st marks the return of the Chamber’s monthly Saturday sidewalk sales, and May 30th begins a series of free concerts at Follansbee Park featuring the Ron Retzer Trio.

Street sales are held every third Saturday of the month from 10am to 3pm, involving brick and mortar shops lining Main Street and vendors of a selection of household items who set up stalls outside.

The event was created a few years ago to draw attention to the range of shops on the street, including restaurants, a men’s clothing and shoe store, an antique shop, and an electronics and furniture store.

This year Chamber members who do not have buildings on the Main were invited to also set up stands along the street.

The street vendors will be coordinated by Monica Rotellini-Myers, owner of Moe’s on Main, a store that sells a variety of locally made items as well as foods produced in Amish country.

Rotellini-Myers said those visiting the city on the day will be asked to take a card with the names of participating businesses and vendors printed on it. Patrons who ask that each shop or vendor tick his or her name can then submit them to Moe’s on Main to win a different gift basket each month.

Rotellini-Myers said there are plans to adopt a different theme for each month as the event progresses into September.

Chamber President Eric Fithyan said the series of free concerts by the group Monthly Monday Music Madness will also return, with a variety of musicians performing at Follansbee Park on the last Monday of every month from 6pm to 8pm.

The first, with the Ron Retzer Trio, coincides with the opening of the park and its swimming pool on Memorial Day weekend.

Located behind the Bluewave Center, formerly Follansbee Middle School, the park also includes a playground and walking trail. Participants are asked to bring chairs or blankets.

The line-up for this year’s concerts includes the Joseph Sisters, a country trio, on June 27; popular dance band Twice as Nice on July 25; and Pocket Change, delivering a mix of rock, jazz and rhythm and blues on August 29th.

Fithyan said members of the Chamber have been invited to set up stalls with food, information or other items, and some have made plans to offer a simple activity for children.

After a short winter break, the chamber has been busy this year. After a job fair in March co-located with Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle, the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce and the West Virginia Northern Community College, the chamber resumed monthly meetings.

Fithyan said the group will continue to meet at Follansbee Community House on the third Wednesday of every month at 12pm.

Since taking on the role of President earlier this year, Fithyan has added business cards for the Chamber with a QR card directing smartphone users to the Chamber’s website with a list of Chamber members and hyperlinks directing the user to their own websites lead companies.

He pointed out that the chamber also uses a Facebook page set up under former President Debbie Puskarich to announce upcoming events.

“We have new companies pouring into the chamber, companies from all over the Ohio Valley,” said Fithyan, who added: “Our focus is on people who want to do business in Follansbee, regardless of whether they have brick and mortar buildings here.”

(Scott can be contacted at [email protected])

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