39th WVIHF kicks off with food, music, and coronation

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HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - Despite the rain, people showed up in droves to soak in Italian food, music, and entertainment on the first day of the 39th annual West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival.

According to the festival's website, every year, 100,000 visitors converge on Clarksburg throughout the weekend.

"It's going to be great," said Betty Boyd, who visited from Kansas City to see her nieces and nephews take part in the festival's coronation ceremonies Friday. "I love Italian food and music."

The coronation of Regina Marie 39, Alyssa Marie Oliverio, kicked off the festivities at about noon.

The WVIHF has been rated among the "Top 100 Events in North America" by the American Bus Association and one of the "Top Four Italian Festivals in the Nation" by the National Sons of Italy.

And although police encourage people to enjoy themselves, they have a stern reminder about how to conduct yourself this weekend.

"We do ask that you don't drink and drive," Clarksburg Police Deputy Chief Jason Snider urged. "If you need a ride that bad, contact us and we'll make sure you get a ride home safely."