PHILIPPI, W.Va (WBOY) — This weekend marks the 162nd anniversary of the first land battle of the Civil War in Philippi. The city embraces its history by hosting the 34th annual Blue & Gray Reunion festival from June 1-4, 2023.

On June 3, 1861, the United States Troops that are commanded by Colonel Dumont and supported by Colonels Kelley and Lander, fired cannons from the top of the hill that overlooks the city of Philippi. The cannon shots went onto the Confederates that were commanded by Colonel Porterfield encamped in the town. This began the first land battle in the Civil War.

The community puts on Civil War reenactments and demonstrations that look to accommodate the accuracy of the specific battle that took place here. There are also markers located throughout the area that provide text of where several of the historical Civil War events took place.

During this weekend-long festival, visitors can find entertainment and events such as a 5K run, crafts, tours, contests and a parade.

Mayor of Philippi, Phil Bowers said, “This is who we are, you know, we’re recognized everywhere as the first land battle of the civil war, and so embracing that as part of our community gives us that rich history that we can share with people who come here.”

For more information about the full festival schedule or the history, visit the Blue & Gray Reunion website by clicking here.