With great weather and a large turnout, the 2013 Sistersville Marble Festival filled the streets on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. As well as buying and trading marbles, many vendors generously contributed rare marbles which children could win by spinning a Bingo-ball tumbler.
This idea began when vendors Robert and Marla Smith found the tumbler at a yard sale; but rather than using Bingo balls, they stuck with the theme of marbles.
"If they get a solid marble, it's a choice of anything on the table," said Robert Smith.
STUDENT AND MASTER-- Autumn Lough stands with her marble-making mentor Sammy Hogue, who was honored on the commemorative marbles at the 2013 Sistersville Marble Festvial.
He also said that, thanks to vendor Ed Parsons from Ohio, each child would receive three to five Jabo Contract Run marbles, which are valued between $5 to $10 a piece. If children got a regular marble from their spin, they still received three of those marbles.
Rare items which children could win included: a sulphide airplane marble; a contemporary Sammy Hogue marble; a contemporary Eddie Seese marble; a German Swirl marble; an Andy Davis spin-top; and many other marble-related rarities.
"A photograph will be taken of all vendors that contributed," said Smith, who stated that the picture and the tumbler would be given to (Marble Festival Coordinator) Jim King and put on display in King's Corner.
"The kids line up and are dazzled by the gifts they're getting," he said, stating that a quality marble would be given to each child who participated.
Smith said that he had people going around the festival and urging children who had not participated yet to give the tumbler a spin. He estimated that 2,000 prizes with an average cost of between $5 to $75 would be given away by the end of the day Saturday.