ATHENS, W.Va. – Event organizers are gearing up for the annual Athens-Concord Town Social, back after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
Festivities will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, August 14. Food vendors, community groups, local businesses, regional artists, Concord University organizations, and Athens High School reunion groups will gather in the front yard of Concord’s campus and in front of the Jerry and Jean Beasley Student Center to celebrate the 34th year of this tradition.
“We are all thrilled to finally come back together for this time-honored tradition. This event has something for community members of every age, and it’s a great way to introduce new students to our town, so make plans to spend the afternoon in Athens!”Dr. Sarah Beasley, Chair of Town Social Committee and Dean of Students at CU
The committee has added something new for social goers this year. Area car enthusiasts have signed up to display their prized automobiles at the social’s first car show. Prizes will be awarded, including “The President’s Choice” award, given by CU President Kendra Boggess.
Not new but highly anticipated are the community awards given out by the Town Social Committee: Elder Citizen, Good Neighbor, Business Longevity, and Total Community Involvement.
Anne O’Sullivan is the recipient of this year’s Elder Citizen award. In addition to starting hospice in southern West Virginia, Anne served for many years on the Town Social Committee and has been a faithful citizen of Athens since the late 60s.
The Good Neighbor award will be presented to Reverend Dr. Felica Wooten Williams, Pastor of Concord United Methodist Church and Director of Vine & Branches Campus Ministries at Concord University.
Business Longevity will be presented to O’Dell’s Garage, owned and operated by Greg O’Dell. This business moved from Lashmeet to Athens in July 2014, and since this time, has provided a variety of auto repair service to customers.
The Total Community Involvement award is not being presented to an individual this year, but rather a group of community members. The Athens Town Park Committee—Kathy Ball, Tom Bone III, Sharon Jones, and Sharon Ofsa—has worked to maintain the safety of the park, to add new features, and to effect repairs and upgrades to existing structures. They chose to present these collectively as “The Athens Park Promise.” Through donations from individuals, charitable trusts and governmental sources, a total of more than $70,000 has been committed to the park goal of $172,627.
The Athens Lions Club President Jen Ford will present the club’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year award and the Beautification award; those winners will be held until the social. The Lions Club will also set up a station to collect nonperishable food items for the town Blessing Box, a service that supports community needs. Attendees are encouraged to bring donations.
Four scholarships for Concord students will be presented at the Town Social as well: The Town Social Scholarships, $1,000 awarded to incoming freshmen, will be presented to Isabella Martin and Akira Smith. The Jean Beasley Athens-Concord Town Social Memorial
Scholarships, $500 awarded to two returning CU students, will be presented to Jessica Phillips and Nikota Shrader.
Two musicians will play throughout the afternoon: Jean Hanna Davis will perform at the start of the social and Matt Deal will take the stage around 3 p.m. Awards will be presented between the two performances.
This year’s Athens-Concord Town Social is sponsored by the Town of Athens, Concord University, First Community Bank, Truist, and the State of West Virginia through the Division of Culture and History.
Please follow the Athens-Concord Town Social event page on Facebook for updates, including changes due to inclement weather.