Summer and fall are the primary festival seasons in West Virginia, but a few events take pride in starting their parades and serving up funnel cakes during March and early April.
Berkeley Springs is the home of the George Washington Bathtub Celebration. Morgantown, Ripley and Lewisburg have chocolate-related festivities on April 12. And the town of Petersburg is the focus of the Potomac Highlands for the annual Spring Mountain Festival.
Sponsored by the Grant County Chamber of Commerce, the 22nd annual event is planned April 25-27.
Hanna Weaver of the Grant County Convention & Visitors Bureau says it's the timing of the festival that makes it popular in the Potomac Highlands.
"It's a small event, but it's kind of like the first festival of the year," she said. "It's a time to get out of the house, enjoy some music and have a good time."
Spring Mountain features antique car and tractor shows, Civil War train rides, a banjo and fiddle contest, 5 and 10K runs, games, arts and crafts and a parade.
Weaver's personal favorite event, the April Fools Race, takes place on the South Branch of the Potomac River.
"People create their own rafts and float down the river," she said. "It's always fun."
Spring Mountain sets the stage for the Harman's North Fork Invitational Fly Fishing Tournament. The two-person team event features some of the top anglers from across the country competing for cash prizes. Harman's Luxury Log Cabins serves as the base of operations.
Call 800-436-6254 for information.
Other Early Festivals
WV Civilian Conservation Corps Celebration, March 30, and Spring Jubilee, April 26, at Mount Clare (Harrison County)
Scottish & Celtic Heritage Festival, April 19 at Parkersburg
WV Strawberry Festival, May 10-18 at Buckhannon
P.O. Box 509
Ghent, WV 25843
Main (304) 787-5959