Actor, former Philippi resident Ted Cassidy honored
PHILIPPI — Hundreds of people gathered in Philippi to honor actor Ted Cassidy during the inaugural Lurch Fest.
The event was themed around paying tribute Cassidy, who was raised in Philippi and portrayed “Lurch” in the 1960s television series “The Addams Family,” and included the unveiling of a life-sized fabrication of the character created by Bixby Studios in Morgantown.
“Lurch Fest was small town Americana at her best,” Philippi Convention and Visitors Bureau President Karen Larry said. “Museum Street in Philippi was filled with festive people from our area as well as from Wheeling, Martinsburg, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Morgantown, Fairmont, Charleston, Baltimore, Maryland, a town in North Carolina, and well wishes from the United Kingdom. Everyone on the planning and work groups were so pleased to see the joy of our visitors.”
Spectators were able to enjoy and exhaust the supplies of many vendors on hand at the festival.
“Most of our food vendors ran out of food by late afternoon, including the visiting craft beer brewers,” Larry noted. “One crafter said she sold more of her goods at Lurch Fest than she had in any other outing. Our official Lurch Fest 2021 T-shirts and Lurch bobble heads sold out in the first few hours of the Fest.”
Larry said the event highlighted local music and several bands performed throughout the day, but the life-sized statue was among the most popular attractions.
“After Bixby Studios unveiled their life-size statue of Lurch, people spent hours taking pictures with the nearly 7-foot-tall creation. Even once Lurch was moved inside the Barbour County Historical Museum, people were taking pictures with him until the lights were turned off about 8:30 p.m.”
“All in all, Philippi’s inaugural Lurch Fest was a big success, with scores of happy people glad to be out and about and celebrating life,” she said.
Also taking part in the planning, promoting and putting on of the event was the Philippi Main Street organization.
“Philippi Main Street came up with the idea to have a Lurch figure made since Ted Cassidy went to Philippi High School,” director Tammy Stemple said. “We began a fundraising effort to obtain funds. Contributions came from individuals, businesses, the City of Philippi, Barbour County Commission, Philippi Convention and Visitors Bureau and Main Street.
“After Philippi native Adrian Larry and Chad Sine of Bixby Studios made the Lurch statue, we then planned a Lurch Festival,” said Stemple. “Our goal is to make it an annual event that brings tourism to downtown and promotes economic activity. It also provides a fun day for people to enjoy.”