78th Annual WV Strawberry Festival: its impact on Buckhannon

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UPSHUR COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - Welcome to the West Virginia Strawberry Festival!

What started as a local Lions Club in 1936 celebrating the strawberry with a two day event, has turned into a weeks worth of activities that transforms the City of Buckhannon, and brings in visitors from all over.

"Our little town will grow to up to 75,000 plus," said Past President and resident Debra Hupp. "I mean, you've got bands coming in from not only throughout the state, but we have international groups as well. I mean this year we have a drum corps from Paris."

Festival activites lining the streets range from cook-offs, carnivals, parades, and local vendors.

Life-long resident Hupp says festival goers will book their hotels a year in advance, and all that revenue is great for the city according to Mayor David McCauley.

"It's millions of dollars a year for our community," said McCauley. "The restaurants are full. The shops are full. There is no other week like it in Buckhannon."

Whether you come for the music, strawberry shortcake, or just to explore Buckhannon, Mayor McCauley says the money being spent by the thousands of tourists who visit goes right back into the community.

"It's sidewalk improvements, things in our parks, and our amazing horticulture program we're known for. Those are precisely the things that people who come to the festival are helping to pay for those projects."