1997 Swiss Festival in Helvetia, West Virginia

This September a few of the GWGS members went to Helvetia, WV to participate by invitation in their Swiss Fair and Parade.  Carol Wotring is a Swissy Owner who lives in that area and she organized and got the GWGS invited along with other Swissy owners in this historical event.

The following is a short description of our participation written By Bette Greenspan who attended this year and with Ellyn Signet gave a presentation on Draft work after the parade.  Patty Levin and her daughters Melissa and Julia helped Ellyn and Sean give dog-cart rides to local kids.

Here is Bette's description:  Members of the Greater Washington Greater Swiss Dog Club were honored to take part in the Swiss Festival in Helvetia West Virginia as guests of the town of Helvetia and Carol & Stan Wotring. The Wotring's and their Swissys, Beau and Libby live in nearby Clarksburg and have been attending the festival for years. After driving the scenic route through the spectacular mountains of West Virginia we arrived and took a step back in time. The village, settled in 1869 by Swiss immigrants is nestled in a lush valley among tall firtrees and mountain streams. Many of the original buildings are still in use today.  The home of the original beekeeper is now an inn and there is a wonderful restaurant.

The fair started with a parade through the main street of the town with our Swissys, some with their carts and others just walking, joined the fun.

sfbeau.jpg (64711 bytes) Carol and Stan Wotring with their

Big Beau and his "covered" wagon!

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sfgoat.jpg (59111 bytes) The parade "competition"

All the Swissies were fascinated by a goat pulling a "dog" cart!!!

Bette and Mak!! sfmak.jpg (62916 bytes)

After the parade there was entertainment with Swiss dances, songs and music. The famous Swiss flag toss as well as the blowing of the melodic Alpenhorn was very exciting.

sfall.jpg (64938 bytes) The WINNERS! Left to Right:

Stan Wotring with Beau, Carol Wotring with Libby, Bette Greenspan with Mak (10 yrs old and exhausted!), Melissa Levin with Ginger, & Ellyn Signet with Sean!

Carol accepted our first place winning ribbon for the best animal/human entry in the parade and the crowds cheered us on and applauded our dogs.  

Throughout the afternoon we were surrounded by groups of interested and eager folks.   At the end of the entertainment Mak and I with Ellyn announcing gave a carting demonstration

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sfdemo.jpg (56685 bytes)  

and Sean and Ellyn gave rides to the younger children. She had wonderful help from Melissa and Julia Levin whom along with their mom Patty and Swissy Ginger had joined us from the Baltimore Maryland area. Homemade crafts of all kinds as well as fresh produce, preserves, baked goods and cheeses were available at the farm stands. 

This festival takes place every year on the second weekend in September. We had a grand time and are already making plans to attend next year. Please mark your calendars and plan on joining us.

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