1993 Airport Road | Fairmont, WV  26554

2009 Manchin Inaugural Parade

January 19, 2009 - Charleston, WV

Manchin Begins Second Term With Parade

Inaugural Parade for Governor Joseph Manchin III

The Busy Bee Band & Honeybees braved cold temperatures and snow-covered roads to join Governor Joe Manchin in Charleston on January 19, 2009 for his second Inaugural Parade.  Thirty-six West Virginia high school bands were invited to participate in the event but most had to cancel following a heavy snowfall that impacted the state.  East Fairmont traveled to Charleston on Sunday evening and stayed near the parade location.  Governor Manchin thanked the group for attending and, after the parade, the group posed for a picture at the State Capitol.

Governor Joe Manchin addresses members of the Busy Bee Band

It began on March 4, 1897, when an open carriage drawn by four bay horses pulled up to the large porch of the grand Victorian-style Ruffner Hotel on Kanawha Street in Charleston. George Wesley Atkinson, who within minutes would become West Virginia's 10th governor, emerged from the hotel and got into the carriage. A drum and bugle corps marched in front of the carriage as it turned down Capitol Street for the three-block ride to Capitol Square.

News reports of the time noted that more than 7,000 nonresidents of Charleston squeezed into the city just days after Capitol Street had been flooded by the Kanawha River to see that first gubernatorial inaugural parade that ended at the Victorian-style Capitol, located at what is now the intersection of Lee and Capitol streets.

Inaugural parades continued pretty much every four years afterward until after Arch A. Morre's second term in 1975.  Hulett Smith's was canceled in 1965 because of snow. For some reason, no one has hosted a parade in the 32 years since.

The traditional parade made its return on January 17, 2005 in one of Charleston's largest parades. Despite a day that dawned at 11 degrees, the parade to honor West Virginia's new governor went on almost as planned. Thirty-five high school marching bands lined up at 10 a.m. on Kanawha Boulevard, facing the Capitol. But a last-minute shortening of the parade route by several blocks, followed by a command to move all bands into the eastbound lane, left hundreds of instrument-toting teenagers inventing ways to keep warm as they waited for things to get underway.

Busy Bee Band & Honeybees in front of State Capitol