If you go
What: West Virginia Strawberry Festival
When: Saturday through May 19
FYI: The festival that celebrates Upshur County's long strawberry growing tradition includes music, parades, exhibits of art, crafts and photography and the crowning of the Strawberry King and Queen.
Organizers of the West Virginia Strawberry Festival are always seeking new ways to attract visitors. Last year, they tried one that was a real hit.
So when the festival kicks off Saturday in downtown Buckhannon, it will include the second Horse and Carriage Parade, an event organizers say will be an annual attraction.
Carol Long, a festival board member and past president, said a volunteer last year suggested that a horse and carriage parade might be an attractive option. Volunteers started making calls through horse and stable contacts to invite them.
"And before it was over, we had a nice parade," Long said. "A lot of these folks go places together."
In all, 50 carriages were featured in last year's parade and Long expects at least that many for Saturday's 5 p.m. event.
"Last year we had an antique hearse. We had something very similar to a Cinderella coach - it was an ornate coach. We had a stagecoach and an old-fashioned fire wagon. Then there were some carriages that were from a museum in Pennsylvania. We had to find horses to pull them. It's a bit of a coordination effort."