Rumors circulating Philippi alleging that the Blue and Gray Reunion would not return next year because of dwindling crowds were debunked by the reunion's co-chairman Terry Wilfong Saturday.
"As of right now, as far as I know, it'll be here next year," Wilfong said, adding that he believed the reason for the smaller crowds had much to do with the Philip Barbour High School graduation that took place Saturday afternoon at the Barbour County Fairgrounds during the time of the Blue and Gray Reunion.
Although the crowds appeared to be much thinner than in the previous year when graduation also overlapped the festival, those who were there still seemed to enjoy themselves.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Melissa Toothman
Re-enactors take aim during the annual Blue & Gray Festival in Philippi. Rumors that the festival would not return in 2014 were debunked by reunion co-chair Terry Wilfong.
"It's the biggest little event to kick off the year for Civil War re-enacting," re-enactor Ron Wenig of Fairmont said. "Everybody's the friendliest they can be here."
Wenig said he also enjoyed having tea at Adaland Mansion on Saturday. He said he wants to tell others to visit Adaland Mansion.
Another re-enactor also was impressed with Philippi.
"Everybody treats you very nicely here," infantry re-enactor Jim Barnes of Morgantown said.
Re-enactors, artillery demonstrators, little soldiers ages 6-12, vendors and the many Blue and Gray Reunion attendees who dressed in period attire were just a few of the experiences of the past weekend's Blue and Gray Reunion.
Anyone who visited Philippi from Thursday to Sunday would have experienced this celebration of a small town's historical wealth.
"It's a fun hobby," Confederate re-enactor S. Riffle said about his experience with reenacting. Riffle said he did not want to provide his first name. "My great-grandpa was a Confederate, so I'm just kind of living his history out a bit, you could say."
Philippi was the site of the first land battle of the Civil War on June 3, 1861, between the Union and Confederate forces. Celebrating this history has been a tradition for more than 150 years in Philippi. As far as the official word goes, Philippi will continue to celebrate its rich historic culture and unique story for yet another year.