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Arts & Culture

Record-Breaking Lilly Family Reunion Returns This August

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Ginger Lilly
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Lilly Family Dinner

A summer tradition for many families is back after being cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s the annual Lilly family reunion in Southern West Virginia -- but you don’t really have to be a Lilly to attend.The gathering was once the largest family reunion in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. In 2009, they set the record with more than 2,5000 registered Lillys.

This number did include a proven connection to the family, rather it be blood, adoption or marriage.The family has been working on the reunion grounds in Flat Top in Raleigh County to prepare for visitors from all 50 states, according to a news release.The first Lilly Reunion was held in 1929 and it continued annually until 1949. Many of the Lillys were forced by the US government to leave their community when the Bluestone Dam was built during the 1940’s.

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Courtesy
Early Lilly reunion

The family reconnected and revived the reunion in 1978 and have held it each year since. The reunion will include scheduled events over three days in August. Some of the plans include live music, a genealogy booth, the souvenir booth and a magician at no charge. There will also be food available for purchase.


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