Black Walnut Festival honors police
October 2, 2012 ·
The city of Spencer in Roane County is dedicating this year’s West Virginia Black Walnut Festival to all police officers around the state. Officials for the festival are asking each police department in WV to send one police car and an officer to participate in the Grand Parade at noon on Saturday, October 13.
Spencer Mayor Terry Williams said the decision to honor
police came in light of the August 28 incident where two West
Virginia state troopers were killed and one Roane
county deputy was wounded.
“We had just given it a little thought on what we might be
able to do something in their honor. The
idea was that we would dedicate the festival to the police. We’ve been doing some
of those kinds of things over the past couple of years for different
organizations, whether it’s veterans or school teachers or whatever but, it was
time we honored the police. We don’t
honor the police enough.”
Williams said the local community was especially eager to
help since one of their own was wounded during the incident.
“John Westfall is known pretty well in this area and his
family has lived here for generations. His kids go to school here and his mother was a teacher here. Like I said, his family has been a member of
this county for generations. I don’t want to say it was a shock, but it was
certainly a huge concern when people heard it.”
So far, about 15 police departments from around the state
have pledged to participate. Spencer’s
Director of Marketing Jacob Fetty said they hope more sign on.
“It’s been pretty interesting to see how fast other
departments have gotten on board and have wanted to come here to Spencer to
support this. I’d say we are now at 15 departments that will be here. We’re
still two weeks out, so we’re hoping that number is going to grow up into the
30’s or so. Both sheriffs throughout the
state and municipalities that have police departments throughout the state have
pledged that they are going to attend. It’s been pretty interesting and pretty neat to watch people band
together and want to pay tribute to this.”
The Black Walnut Festival is slated for Saturday October 13. Police departments interested in sending representatives to the parade can contact
city officials in Spencer.