Everclear to headline OktoberWest

By By Anna Patrick
Staff writer
Stephanie Johnson, executive director of West Side Main Street, announced that nationally known alternative rock band Everclear will headline this year’s OktoberWest event on the West Side.

Nationally-known alternative rock band Everclear, not to be confused with the clear American spirit, will headline the 10th annual OktoberWest celebration on Charleston’s West Side Oct. 11.

Stephanie Johnson, executive director of West Side Main Street, made the announcement at a press conference Wednesday at the Mi Cocina De Amor Mexican restaurant on Bigley Avenue.

“We looked at several options,” Johnson said after the announcement. “Obviously we have to look at what’s within our budget, but we definitely wanted to go with a band that is nationally recognized.”

Everclear is most well-known for its hit songs from the late ‘90s and early 2000s including, “Father of Mine,” “Santa Monica” and “Wonderful.” Johnson said she is hopeful that Everclear’s national recognition and alternative rock sound will attract a larger audience to the October celebration.

“We want everyone to return [but] we’re really excited to be targeting a larger audience.”

She said the group’s efforts to secure Everclear were “produced in conjunction with the Clay Center.”

OktoberWest will begin at 4 p.m. with the first band, the Company Stores, taking the stage at 4:30 p.m. Gage will follow in the later afternoon before Everclear takes the stage. The event will be held between Washington Street and Pennsylvania Avenue on Charleston’s West Side. Advanced tickets cost $30 and can be purchased online at www.westsidemainstreet.org. Tickets will cost $35 at the gate and tickets for children ages 12 and under are $10.

The all-inclusive tickets will provide attendees “all the food you can eat, all of the beer you can drink and all of the entertainment,” Johnson said. “It’s a good deal.”

Currently the beer vendors scheduled to attend OktoberWest are Charleston Brewing Company, Mountain State Brewing Company, North End Brewing, Bridge Brew Works and Capitol Beverage. Mi Cocina de Amor, Dem 2 Brothers and a Grill, The Smokehouse and The Grill will provide food. A corn hole tournament and a variety of children’s activities will also be held.

OktoberWest is organized by West Side Main Street, a community revitalization affiliate program of West Virginia State University (WVSU) Extension Service. The October celebration is the organization’s largest fundraiser.

Johnson said this year’s proceeds to go towards further subsidizing the organization’s facade grants, which assist businesses on the West Side to improve their exterior.

“Having this event, I think, really attracts people from not only the Kanawha Valley, but from outside the Kanawha Valley. It acclimates them to the area. We have a lot of family-owned businesses that are just gems.

“An event like this, I think, acclimates people to this part of town, and also I think it helps in breaking down some of the negative perceptions,” Johnson said. “For every negative thing that happens [on the West Side] it’s really important that we add ten good things to that one [bad].”

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones opened Wednesday’s press conference with a few words. “Next to June, October is the biggest month for the city from the West Side (OktoberWest) to the East End (HallowEast) to our car show downtown …. I wish all 12 months were like that.”

For information or to purchase tickets visit www.westsidemainstreet.org.

Reach Anna Patrick at anna.patrick@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5100.

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