West Virginia Black Walnut Festival

Spencer, West Virginia

October 12th-15th, 2017

The hallmark event of the West Virginia Black Walnut Festival is the Grand Parade. Held at noon on Saturday, the parade provides spectators a plethora of spectacles from marching bands to mini race cars to Queen and Princess floats to old time tractors and much more.

Be certain to get a seat or standing spot early because the streets of Spencer will fill up quickly.

Here is video from the 59th Black Walnut Festival Grand Parade. 


This 62nd West Virginia Black Walnut Festival Parade will be held in Spencer on October 15, 2016. On that one day, Spencer will swell to a standing room only crowd of over 40,000 people. The Spencer Little League rents chairs along Main Street for your convenience - YOU MAY NOT MOVE THESE CHAIRS TO NEW LOCATIONS OR TO MAKE ROOM FOR YOUR OWN CHAIRS. The parade begins at 12:00 (noon) at Washington Park, journeys down Black Walnut Avenue, onto Main Street and ends at the junction of Locust Avenue. You are invited to be a part of this great event. 

If you would like to participate in the Grand Parade, please review the rules presented here, fill out the registration form, and return to 116 Court Street, Spencer, WV 25276 by October 3. For more information, call 304-927-1640 or 304-377-1352. 





The parade applications form must be completed and returned to the festival office no later than 10 days prior to the parade date.  Late entries may participate in the parade, but will not be judged.

No commercial advertisement allowed in parade.
All float and parade sponsorships must be arranged by the BWF Board of Directors.

Floats must not exceed 40’ in length, excluding the towing vehicle, 12’ in width, 12’ in height, and the rigid part of the float structure will have at least 12” ground clearance.  A builder or sponsor may request in writing an exception to these measurements by explaining the function and need for excessive dimensions.  Larger floats should not cause any delay in their movement through the parade.

Units must maintain a distance of40’ to 60’ between parade units.


All floats must be in their line-up positions by 10a.m. on parade day.  Larger entries may be required to arrive earlier.  Once the float arrives at parade formation, the driver must remain with the float at all times.
In cases of mechanical difficulties, the float or parade unit must be moved to the side and out of the parade flow as quickly as possible.

For safety reasons, NO THROWING of any items from any parade unit.

No controversial issue(s) may be represented or alluded to in any way on any float or parade entry.
In order that the parade may be maintained at an acceptable level, no more than two (2) entries shall be allowed from any one organization, without prior approval of the parade chairperson(s).
There shall be no member of a marching unit that is less than 12 years of age.

Failure to comply with these rules and regulations may result in competitive disqualification, ejection from the parade, and removal from future invitation lists.

All parade participants must obey the instructions of the parade officials.  These officials will be properly identified and have the authority to enforce paragraph K, above.

The West Virginia Black Walnut Festival reserves the right to screen and reject or approve any entry.  The entertainment and enjoyment of parade viewers is of utmost importance and the quality of parade units is very important.

All livestock must have a negative Coggins’ Test (from a USDA official approved laboratory) within the last 24 months.  This number must be provided on the application and paperwork must be presented the morning of the parade.


School/Church/Civic                                                   Winners will be based upon how effective black
Commercial I (Factory Designed)              walnuts are used, how well fall colors are used, and general
Commercial II (Locally Designed)             appearance and appeal of the float.

Floats will be judged by impartial judges working independently. The judge’s decision is final.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd place will be awarded in each of the above categories.
It is assumed that like sponsoring groups will have similar membership, financial resources, and imagination into the development and construction of a float.