New Castle News


July 12, 2014

Break out the bubbly

Arts festival kicks off weekend’s events

NEW CASTLE — New Castle may be the Fireworks Capital of America, but Friday night bubbles filled the air.

Danny Westfall’s Bubble Wagon was a highlight of the New Castle Fireworks Festival featuring Friday’s Arts on the Riverwalk.

“Bubbles are just plain fun,” explained Westfall, a Poland, Ohio, native now living in New Martinsville, W.Va.

Between showing young festivalgoers the tricks of his trade, Westfall recalled how his hobby started years ago with his sister’s yarn wand. When the girl lost it, he tried to replicate the bubblemaker and the results became entertainment at family reunions. He took the show on the road about three years ago when he purchased a new John Deere tractor and couldn’t quite figure out a good use for the free wagon that came with it.

Thus was born the Bubble Wagon, a cart filled with wands of all sizes and shapes and gallons of sticky soap concoctions that Westfall takes to festivals, schools and nursing homes.

“It’s all in the yarn you use for the wands,” Westfall revealed. “Cheap is best.

“And, really, humid days like this aren’t the best for bubbles. The middle of the night when it’s dry weather will give you the best results,” he added. But the youngsters attending the festival didn’t seem to mind, chasing the giant creations as they floated through the Riverwalk.

Nearby others were engaged in stenciling spray paint “splatters” on the shut-down East Washington Street while the sounds of five bands playing in the Wounded Warriors Concert provided accompaniment.

Additional activities at the event sponsored by the Hoyt Center for the Arts and the Lawrence County Tourist Promotion Agency included an artists’ market, photo booth and a juried art show.

The Fireworks Festival takes place Saturday with Jameson Health System’s annual Run for Your Heart, a farmers’ market, movies at the Warner Film Center, an anything that floats competition, live entertainment, food vendors and the Ducky Derby.

Also continuing Saturday are the artists’ market and children’s activities. The evening concludes with a fireworks display beginning at 10:05 p.m.


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