31st annual Friday’s in the Park returns to Beckley bringing Special Olympic bowlers and a new food vendor

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Word Park on Neville Street in downtown Beckley was full of food and singing once again on Friday.

A beloved summer tradition that’s now on to its 31st year, Friday’s in the Park made its much-awaited return.

It also brought with it some new community achievements. One of them was the recognition of four Raleigh County Special Olympic bowlers who will be making their way to the USA National Competition to represent West Virginia.

“I’m so excited, and I’ve been bowling since I was back in school, so since I was really young,” Special Olympic bowler, Alicia Lopez.
“I’ve been bowling since I was 7 and joined Special Olympics in 2015. I am very excited about this,” adds another Special Olympic bowler, Yuki Lawrence.

Yuki Lawrence, Maggie Ashley, Nikki Rice, and Alicia Lopez were recognized at the park for their achievement.

Another milestone Friday was the addition of a new food vendor, Bee Bumbler Bakery. They will be joining the regular vendors, Flynn’s Hotdogs and The Lunch Wagon for the summer season. Friday’s musical guest was praise singer Rachel Hill.

The events kicked off a lasting tradition in Beckley and what has now become a community staple.

“It’s something that the folks that work downtown and live downtown look forward to, it’s probably one that I get asked about the most walking down the street, everybody’s saying when is Friday’s in the Park going to start? So, they’re looking forward to it,” says Beckley Events director, Jill Moorefield.

Next Friday, June 10 will feature oldies singer David Runion.

The concert series will be held every Friday at Word Park from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will last all summer until August 26, closing out with the annual Appalachian Festival.

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