Blue and Gray to turn back time

PHILIPPI – The 153rd Blue and Gray Reunion in Philippi will turn back the clock this weekend to the first land battle of the Civil War.

“We make history happen again,” Blue and Gray Reunion Treasurer Debbie Schoonover said. “All of our weekend events are centered around Civil War activities, and for the most part, things that happened in that era.”

Reenactors will get out their muskets to bring to life the 1861 battle between Union and Confederate armies. The main battle is slated for 2 p.m. Sunday at the historic Philippi Covered Bridge.

Immediately after the battle, the Reunion’s famous hanger amputation reenactment is set for 2:15 p.m. Saturday at Sutler Row in the parking lot near the intersection of Main and Pike streets. The event will follow a reenactor’s skirmish from 1-1:45 p.m. at the Philippi Covered Bridge.

The Blue and Gray Reunion officially kicks off at 1 p.m. Thursday in Philippi, with the opening of the food court and traditional craft vendors on the Barbour County Courthouse lawn. The Blue and Gray Choir will present the official opening ceremony at 6:30 p.m. at the courthouse gazebo, and events will continue through Sunday.

“I’m excited about the whole thing because it’s a weekend of family fun and learning,” Schoonover said.

The food court and craft tables are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. Patrons also can visit a quilt show starting at 10 a.m. both days at Mountain Treasures, located across from the courthouse. Adaland Mansion will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.

Kid’s Day is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. Schoonover said Kid’s Day “is always exciting because we have schools from all over the state that


Entertainment at the gazebo by the courthouse will begin at 5 p.m. Friday and last throughout the rest of the day. A parade will start near Subway in Philippi, and march up Main Street.

Fireworks are scheduled at 10 p.m. Saturday and can be seen in South Philippi near Shop ‘N Save.

Little soldiers, youth reenactors ages 6-12, may register at 9:30 a.m.

Saturday near the Philippi Covered Bridge for the 10-11 a.m. Little Soldiers Battle. Spectators may stay put at the same location afterward for an 11 a.m. artillery demonstration. Registration for the 5K race begins at 7 a.m. behind the courthouse gazebo. The 5K will take a running start at 9 a.m.

At 3 p.m. Saturday, residents can enjoy a Blue and Gray Choir performance at the Philippi Baptist Church. The Reunion also offers the opportunity to dance the evening away until the fireworks with the Civil War Ball at 8 p.m. on the courthouse lawn. Music for the ball will be performed by the Rich Mountain Band. The ball will move inside to the Philippi City Building if bad weather strikes.

After the fireworks, there will be a reenactor’s night skirmish from 11-11:45 p.m. at the Philippi Covered Bridge.

On Sunday, even some church services revert back to the Civil War era, with an 1800s-style sermon starting at 10 a.m. at the Presbyterian Church.