Belington residents gathered at the Belington VFD hall to send winter away and bring in the warm weather with its annual winter fair. The event moved this year from the Barbour County Fairgrounds, and while the location may have changed, the Community Educational Outreach Service is still working to support their community.
"The CEOS have a lot of things they do in the community, and they help a lot of people. We help the 4-H'ers, and the Energy Express, and Ronald McDonald House and the libraries," said CEOS President Edna Waugaman.
The event pulls people from across the county, not just in the Belington area. Philippi Main Street's Tammy Stemple came with friends to visit the event, and she said she's happy to contribute to success in another part of Barbour County.
"We wanted to come out and visit the Winter Fair and see what all it had to offer and support our community. We decided to come out here on Friday because tomorrow I have to work, we're doing an event in downtown Philippi, so we wanted to come out and support the people here today," Stemple said.
Stemple said this is one of the first such events each year, and while the proceeds help area groups, the money earned by the vendors go a long way to supporting their own individual businesses, too.
"We have a lot of people here that do knitting and homemade crafts and things like that, so it's a chance for them to not only sell what they're making but also to bond with their neighbors. It's a social event," said Stemple.
Waugaman agrees. She said this is one of the largest events since they switched locations, and she hopes to see it get bigger in the future.
"It gets the community out, and they get to share all their thoughts and everything that goes in to what they do. This year we have more vendors since we came here. The people we had on waiting lists got to set up this year," Waugaman said.