Crowds turned out over the weekend to embrace Civil War history and have a good time at the 2012 Blue and Gray Reunion in Philippi.
"Everywhere we go, we teach," said living historian Barb Emanuelson, who traveled from Apollo, Pa., to participate in the event and to get kids engaged in education about the Civil War.
She says she'll stop and educate anyone she sees and that she comes every year to the reunion, where people "know us by name."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Melissa Toothman
Reenactors take part in the Civil War Ball Saturday as part of the Blue and Gray Reunion on the courthouse lawn in Philippi. Most dressed in 1800s attire and practiced traditional partnered dance routines. Additional photos can be found online at cu.theintermountain.com.
Emanuelson said she especially enjoyed Friday, which was Kid's Day at the Reunion. "I got the kids involved. They were singing songs and everything," she said.
Later Friday evening, many different groups, organizations and more paraded down Main Street in Philippi, followed by a fireworks show.
"They did a good job," said Bertha Montgomery, whose granddaughters, Autumn Newman and Alexis Newman, participated with the twirling group Robin's Rockets in the parade.
The whole weekend included much to do, with almost constant entertainment at the gazebo on the Barbour County Courthouse lawn. Picture of Grace played on Thursday, Full Circle performed just before the fireworks on Friday, and the Moatsville Boys and Back to the Cross played on Saturday.
The gazebo entertainment was sponsored by Henderson's Heavenly Sliced Pizza, The Medallion, Fox's Pizza, Barbour County Bank, Builder Center Bank, and Hyrem Images.
A quilt show could be viewed Friday and Saturday at Mountain Treasures. The famous Hangar Amputation was performed on three separate occasions, including by candlelight on Saturday.
Reenactors performed a skirmish across the historical covered bridge all the way up to the stoplight on Saturday, dropping their "dead" as they drew their guns and marched on. The Little Soldiers Battle also took place on Saturday, attracting children to attend.
The blue, albeit cloudy, sky on Saturday allowed the Civil War Ball to take place on the courthouse lawn where all the initial dancers were dressed for the time period.
Vendors gathered in the courthouse lawn, next to City Hall, with set-ups next to the public library and the old IGA parking lot.
Sonny Simmons set up his vendor's table for J & S Woodcraft on the Courthouse Square. Simmons makes and sells wooden goodies from cutting boards and furniture to decoration items such as West Virginia logo cutouts.
Nathan Riccio, an 11-year-old business owner, sold his Hawaiian shaved ice at a vendor's table next to Philippi City Hall.
Friday presented challenges for the vendors with some rain and gusts of wind. Many said that the crowd for the parade was the largest group they had seen all day. At least one vendor's craft projects were jeopardized by the heavy rain and wind.
"It was a little mini microburst that lasted about five minutes," said Pam MacGregor at the Courthouse Square. Her business, Pam's Crafts, sold boxed jewelry, kitchen towels, fabrics, hand crafted wooden roses and more.
MacGregor had fewer items to sell after the wind and rain soaked her fabrics and jewelry boxes. She sat at her table re-boxing the jewelry on Friday evening.
Other vendors sold food items, photography, graphics, clothing, decorations, artwork, primitives, woodwork, jewelry, sand art, rock mining opportunities and more.
The entertainment and Civil War education wasn't concentrated on Main Street alone. The Barbour County Historical Museum was open and Adaland Mansion, just an additional four miles away, offered tea with barn and mansion tours.
The Blue and Gray Reunion Car Show will be held on the Barbour County Courthouse lawn from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 10.