Pre-Lent Bash Chases Off Winter

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (February 7, 2013)--Deep in the mountains of West Virginia, the descendants of Swiss and German immigrants celebrate Fasnacht, a pre-Lent celebration aimed at chasing winter away.

On Saturday, hundreds will trek to the small town of Helvetia where they’ll don papier-mâché masks for a candlelight parade, dine on sausage, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese, and dance to Appalachian music at a masked ball.

At midnight, they'll toss Old Man Winter's effigy into a bonfire to chase away winter.

Longtime resident Debbie Sayre says it often backfires.

It’s not unusual for it be 50 degrees on Saturday and then snow on Sunday.

This weekend's forecast calls for rain and snow Friday night, but colder, drier conditions Saturday.

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