Across West Virginia, many towns and cities will host Christmas parades and other holiday festivals in December. But only one town can claim to have a historic covered bridge in the backdrop of their festivities. Philippi is hoping to brand itself as a Christmas destination, with a historic twist.
“Christmas was always special here whenever I was growing up,” said Philippi Mayor Phil Bowers, who had the idea to brand the town as “A Covered Bridge Christmas” destination.
“We have tens of thousands of people who ride the Polar Express in Elkins, and we thought, we’re really not doing much to bring those people to Philippi.”
Like many locations in West Virginia, the city of Philippi is looking to tourism to boost the local economy.
Next year, the city plans to add additional Christmas-themed activities. This could include ice skating rink, and buggy rides that could transport visitors to view the Christmas lights, Bowers said.
"A Covered Bridge Christmas" kicks off Friday, Dec. 1. There will be a parade on Friday, and other events are planned throughout the month.
This story was produced by students and faculty at the Mass Communication department at Alderson Broaddus University.