GHENT, WV (WVNS) – March 20th is the official start of the spring season.

This will bring in warmer temperatures and more sunshine thanks to longer daylight time and folks will have more chances to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.

According to Leslie Baker, Director of Parks and Rec for the City of Beckley, Spring also brings in big tourism, but it was not noticeable until the COVID pandemic.

“During the COVID pandemic, that’s when people really started to discover West Virginia. They were closed in and some of the bigger cities were right in the middle along the eastern United States. That’s when I feel like people were really discovering us and coming in and visiting us. Because of our wide-open spaces and our wonderful outdoor opportunities,” Baker said.

Baker added every winter, she and the City of Beckley come together to outline the events. This includes continuing events from previous years and coming up with new ones.

Baker said for Spring of 2023, they have plenty of events lined up.

“The city is doing the spring cleanup, which I think the community really looks forward to. May’s not very far and we’ll have the Rhododendron Festival and then uptown we’ll have the Coffee and Tea celebration in April. So, every month we got something,” Baker said.

This also includes the Bill Withers Memorial Celebration happening in May. 

For Baker, she wants to give everyone different opportunities to enjoy the new season. This will help show the beauty and splendor of the Mountain State.

“A lot of things on the burner, lots of things happening. All we want is the weather to hold and encourage everyone to get out as much as possible. Enjoy what everyone else across the country is finding out about southern West Virginia,” Baker said.