“A mini lecture series, a horse and buggy parade, and a kayak and SUP race will all debut during this year’s Blue & Gray Reunion. Our committee is constantly working with the community to make the traditional weekend of activities even more exciting than the previous year’s,” says Ed Larry, Chairman of the Reunion Committee.
All three of the new events have grown from feedback from visitors. The mini lecture series is designed to provide historical background of the First Land Battle of the Civil War, the foundation for the Reunion weekend. Most of the mini lectures will be held on the fourth Wednesday of the month from February to May at 7:00 pm in the Barbour County Courthouse. All sessions are free and open to the public.
The first mini lecture series will be Wednesday, February 22 from 7:00-8:00 pm in the BC Courthouse. The featured speaker for this lecture will be Richard “Bear” Ware, a Tamarack leather artist and a local historian. Ware will explore “The Civil War from Grafton to Philippi to Laurel Hill”.
The other lectures will cover the history of the BC Courthouse, a visit to the Barbour Grey Encampment at the Blue & Gray Park, and a look at the life of James E. Hanger, the amputee of the Philippi Races and his building of the international prosthetics company holding his name.
The horse and buggy parade will traverse Philippi’s Main Street beginning at the Blue & Gray Park and proceeding through the Covered Bridge on Thursday, June 1. The line up and beginning times will be announced soon by the sponsoring group, the 4H Equestrian Team.
The Saturday, June 3 kayak and SUP (stand up paddle board) races will begin at 11:30 am in the waters of the Tygart River at the Covered Bridge. More details of the race will be released soon. Lyndon Auvil of Tygart River Outfitters is spearheading the race and questions about the race may be directed to him at his business.
The Blue & Gray Reunion Committee meets every month on the third Wednesday. The February meeting is Wednesday, February 15 at 7:00 pm in Council Chambers of the Philippi City Hall. A spokesperson for the Committee says that the all volunteer group is always looking for extra helping hands for both the advance preparation and the actual Reunion weekend work. Anyone interested in helping with the 28th Annual Blue & Gray Reunion is asked to call Chairperson Larry at 304-457-3773 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.