Helvetia's Fasnacht bash set for Feb. 9 - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Helvetia's Fasnacht bash set for Feb. 9

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Photo courtesy of www.helvetiawv.com / A Fasnacht participant participates in the annual burning of Old Man Winter during the 2010 festival. Photo courtesy of www.helvetiawv.com / A Fasnacht participant participates in the annual burning of Old Man Winter during the 2010 festival.

HELVETIA (AP) — Mark your calendars: West Virginia's smaller, colder version of Mardi Gras is set for Feb. 9.

The traditional Swiss celebration of Fasnacht occurs every year in Helvetia to scare off Old Man Winter.

Festivities begin at 3 p.m. with an open mic in Star Band Hall. The Inter-Mountain says the Helvetia Mask Museum and General Store will be open all day, and at 8:30 p.m. the Candlelight Parade fills the roads.

Participants and onlookers alike don masks of all shapes, sizes and styles for the parade and masked-ball square dance that follows.

Admission to the ball is $10 per adult and $5 for children 11-17.

Then the symbolic Old Man Winter is ripped from his spot above the dance fire and tossed into a bonfire.

For information, go to www.helvetiawv.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.