Adena Heritage Days royalty named

T-L Photo/CARRI GRAHAM Adena Heritage Days Queen Chris Brokaw and Grand Marshal Michael Sheen stand in front of the village gazebo, where the festival will take place Aug. 12-13.

ADENA — The queen and grand marshal of the 22nd annual Adena Heritage Days festival are individuals who organizers say have helped to shape the village.

Every year a new queen and grand marshal are selected by members of the event committee to participate in the festivities, set for Aug. 12-13 this year at the Village Greens. Lynn McConnell, president of the event, said they try to choose people who are current residents or who grew up in the community.

“We will honor them at the festivities where they’ll ride in the parade, throw out a parade wave and hand out candy,” she said.

John Sebring, a committee member, said each of this year’s honorees helped Adena become what it is today.

“We want to honor what they’ve done. … They’ve done good things for the village, participate and give back to the village,” he added.

This year’s queen is Chris Brokaw, a longtime resident of the village and someone who is heavily involved in the community. Though she was a bit surprised when she first received the call, Brokaw said she is honored to wear the celebratory crown. She said she has spent more than half her life in the village and would not have it any other way.

“I absolutely love Adena. I married into it and I’ve been here 44 years, and I would not live anywhere else. I love everything about it and the brick streets grabbed me as soon as I got here. I have five children that live here, five of my six, so I’m very happy,” she said, adding that she enjoys being able to walk all over town with her grandchildren.

“It’s always clean and everybody’s pleasant, and everybody helps everybody.”

McConnell noted that Brokaw rides in the parade every year.

St. Clairsville attorney Michael Shaheen holds the title of grand marshal this year. Shaheen and his family have a long history in the village and have contributed to it in many ways, including donating the grounds where the annual festival is held.

“My family’s roots started here in the ’20s. My grandparents were Lebanese immigrants. They lived in South Wheeling when they came from Lebanon. … My grandfather was a peddler, and he would go all over these little towns. The story I got was the warmth he felt when he got to Adena made his heart feel like he needed to bring his family here, so he and my grandmother moved here and had nine more children and opened up a butcher shop, and the rest is history. They raised nine kids, dozens of grandkids.My mom and her two brothers founded Bedway Coal here in 1948. Thirteen of us kids were raised here,” he said.

“Not unlike what Ms. Brokaw said, no matter where I would travel in the world, the minute I heard the sound of those bricks when I came down Church Hill I knew I was home.”

Shaheen said he was flattered and humbled that he was thought of for the title.

“My mom and her brothers put their heart and soul into this town. The men and women who lived here were so hard working and so kind and so considerate, and everybody helped everybody’s family. No kid wanted for anything and when I go to bed at night and say my prayers, I can only hope that other kids get to enjoy that type of childhood I did in this little town,” he said.

While Shaheen will ride in his own vehicle in the parade, Brokaw will be seated in the traditional horse drawn buggy.

McConnell said organizers anticipate that hundreds of people will attend the event and that they will come from all over. The two-day festival will feature live music, a parade, food trucks, vendors, a car show and activities. It all begins Aug. 12 with food trucks, vendors and a live performance by Punching Oswald.

The parade, beginning on West Main Street, will step off at noon Aug. 13.

The Aug. 13 schedule of events also includes:

— 12:30 p.m. presentation of flags, national anthem, and speakers;

— 1:45 p.m. Young Buckeye cheerleaders will perform;

— 3-6 p.m. inflatable entertainment by Bounce Boyz;

— 2-4 p.m. Josh Sokolowski will perform;

— 3 p.m. kiddie tractor pull sponsored by Adena American Legion Post 525, registration from 1-2 p.m.;

— 4-8 p.m. car show, registration from 4-6 p.m.;

— 4:30-6:30 p.m. Ashley Best and the Set’em Up Band;

— 7-10 p.m. Twice as Nice

McConnell said there will also be face painting and new vendors this year, including Ice Cream Island, Dairy Jean and Swamp Treats.

“We look forward to seeing people that we haven’t seen in awhile. A lot of people look forward to coming back to Heritage Days and seeing people they haven’t seen. It’s just a good time for everybody. We always have good music, good food and we always have a really nice parade. Anybody is welcome to be in the parade. No need to sign up, just come and be in the parade,” she said.

She said the family-friendly event is a great time for the community to get together.

“A lot of alumni come home and it’s just a fun day,” she added.


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