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Four State Punk Rock Flea Market takes over Town Run Tap House
September 14, 2018

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SHEPHERDSTOWN -- Punk rock music blasted from a band warming up on the low stage in the Town Run Tap House and Community Pub on Saturday, as visitors swarmed booths selling a wide variety of goods, during the first Four State Punk Rock Flea Market.

The market was also a fundraiser for Let There Be Rock School in downtown Martinsburg, an after-school program and music studio, teaching guitar, drum, bass, keyboard, DJ, vocal and record engineering lessons in a supportive, community environment. Designed to provide a safe place for students to socialize with their peers, students can socialize, do homework or practice music on their own or in a band while at the school.

In July 2018, the school announced its need to raise $200,000 to buy the building it has been renting, which its owner plans to auction off at an unknown time in the future. The school remodeled some of the building's interior in previous years, so retaining the building would be ideal for the school. However, if the school cannot raise enough money to buy its building, it will use the money to secure another location. Saturday's event was one of many fundraisers that have been held to match the school's need.

"This event is helping to raise money for Let There Be Rock School in Martinsburg," said podcaster Chris Lumzer, of Martinsburg, as he manned the event's donation table.

Lumzer said he is friends with the event's organizer, which is why he volunteered to help with the event.

"When he does events like this, he does them well, and I like to help him whenever I can," Lumzer said of event organizer Matt Burns, of Martinsburg.

According to Burns, who also runs the Four State Comic Con in Hagerstown, Maryland, hosting the event in Shepherdstown was a no-brainer.

"This is the type of thing I like to bring to the area -- I'm tired of having to go to Baltimore or Washington, D.C. for something like that," Burns said, mentioning seven or eight bands would be playing throughout the event, which extended from daytime into the evening.

"At least a hundred people have visited, and we still have a ways to go, since it's an all-day event. Everybody's pitching in and buying food and drinks," Burns said. Burns said about a dozen vendors were selling everything punk rock to event attendees, including art, clothing, steam punk items and comics.

Having known LTBRS's owner for many years, Burns said he hoped the event would raise enough money to make sure the school would not have to leave it location.

"I have been friends with Butch, the head of Let There Be Rock School, forever, and we just want to make sure Martinsburg's kids have a safe place to go, and keep the arts and music alive," Burns said.

FATGIRL media graphic designers Dani Ward and Chris Henry, both of Hagerstown, Maryland, said this was the first event they have ever sold at.

"This is our first vending event ever. We came here specifically because we found out about this at another festival," Ward said, mentioning they were enjoying meeting people at the event.

To donate to LTBRS, visit its Go Fund Me page, www.gofundme.com/LTBRS.

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