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The first festival was called Septemberfest and lasted two days.  It was very well received, so the next year it was decided to give it another name, make it last longer and try to get corporate sponsorships.  Coal was king in Marion County those first festival years, and local coal companies were very generous with monetary contributions, the loan of actual coal-mining equipment and allowed employees to work at the festival explaining the equipment.  This goodwill was greatly appreciated, and the festival acquired a new name, "The Three Rivers Coal Festival."  Gradually, the decline in working coal mines took its toll, and community leaders suggested it was time to change the name of the festival.  The date was moved from the first weekend of May to the last weekend, hoping for warmer weather and the advent of river activities.  The name of the festival also changed to the "Three Rivers Festival and Regatta."

Along with the emphasis changing from a street festival to a river festival came the location change to the Palatine Park on the East Side of the Monongahela River - one of the three rivers in the name, the other two being the Tygart and the West Fork.  In 1997, it was decided to drop the Regatta activities and to center on the historical aspect of downtown Fairmont.  Education became an important focus of the festival.  With this change, re-enactors were brought in to demonstrate the "Battle of Fairmont."  Downtown Fairmont became part of living history as cannons exploded and men and women dressed in historical costumes played out a very important battle, which took place in Fairmont.  Spectators from all over the state attended the numerous activities surrounding the re-enactment. 

In 1998, the festival had to make yet another change - location.  Since the High Level Bridge was being renovated and restored, MCPARC welcomed the festival to East Marion Park.  This was a pleasant change for the festival and those attending since the park had adequate parking and a level surface for the carnival.  The festival changed its name to the "WV Three Rivers Festival" and thought it had found its home.  In 2003, it was decided that the Gateway Connector would be built, thus requiring the festival to move again.  Palatine Park, a long-time host of the festival is again our home. The 44th year of the festival will be located at Palatine Park in downtown Fairmont.  Please help us celebrate "44 Years of Bridging the Past with the Future."  We hope to see you there.

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