Keyser to welcome all students with back-to-school specials

By Liz Beavers - Mineral Daily News-Tribune Managing Editor

KEYSER, WV - Members of the Heart of Town (HOT) committee are gearing up to welcome incoming Potomac State College students and also to celebrate the start of school for all students in the area.

Students had back to Mineral County Schools on Thursday, and Potomac State students will begin moving into the dorms this coming weekend. The first day of classes is Monday, Aug. 19.

Heart of Town, the group of volunteers who have been spearheading activities to help pump "fresh blood" into the heart of Keyser, has been distributing signs stating "Welcome PSC Students" to be displayed at any area business - not just those located in the downtown business district.

In addition, several downtown businesses and offices have been decorating their windows with back-to-school related items.

All offices, businesses, and owners of empty storefronts are being invited to participate by dressing up their properties.

Heart of Town sponsored a very successful "Art in April" event by inviting area artists to set up exhibits of their work in downtown storefronts. The event was so successful the displays were kept up - and new ones added - throughout the summer.

Now, those exhibits are coming down to make room for back-to-school displays.

In addition, several businesses will be offering a variety of specials to students:

- The Royal Restaurant will be offering a 15 percent discount to all PSC students who can produce a valid student ID.

- The Big Bargain Thrift Store is offering a 10 percent discount to all PSC students with a valid ID, and the store also accepts West Virginia Clothing Vouchers.

- The Rusty Nail Gallery is offering anywhere from 5-50 percent off to any area student - first come, first served - with each student given the opportunity to place his or her school's name on the chalkboard for recognition.

Other businesses will undoubtedly offer similar discounts.

Heart of Town is also beginning to work on a second Octoberfest celebration for downtown Keyser, complete with vendors, exhibits, and entertainment.

Last year's inaugural event was a crowd-pleaser, with acts such as Highland Grass, Johnny Moore, and East Pointe Ballet providing entertainment and vendors set up all along one entire block of Main Street. More information on the dates and location for Octoberfest 2013 will be released soon.

The group is also planning its second annual tree-lighting and Christmas open house in conjunction with the annual Keyser Christmas parade.