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In a Tiny Appalachian Village, a Beloved Festival Returns



HELVETIA, W.Va. — As the sun set below the ridgelines of the Appalachian Mountains on Saturday evening, revelers donned fantastical papier-mâché masks — a bright red creature with striped horns, a boar with a floral headdress, an autumn leaf — and marched with gusto in an outdoor masquerade ball.

The celebration included Swiss folk songs, tiny Swiss flags and paper lanterns. It culminated in a parade through the streets of the village, led by an effigy of Old Man Winter, which was then thrown atop a raging bonfire, in an effort to hasten the coming of spring.