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About Our Area

This greater Bluefield area was shaped in its early days by a rich tradition of railroading and mining, referred to as the "Gateway to the Southern Coalfields." Mining still provides a part of our economy in the region, but now education and healthcare are two of our strongest industries and represents the largest employers in the area. Our public education system as well as private and public colleges and universities are a strong attraction to our neighborhoods. In addition, we have some of the best technical education opportunities all of which work to train our ready and willing workforce. Our area hospitals, clinics and express care facilities offer complete medical services. 

We are known as Four Seasons Country and our mild climate is the envy of those living in other regions. The Chamber is proud to continue serving free lemonade on the rare occasions when the temperature reaches 90 degrees. Our climate and proximity to major cities makes us an attractive destination for business as well as a great retirement location.

 

Lemonade Days

Whenever the temperature hits ninety degrees in Bluefield, folks wait in line for their free glass of lemonade.  Why?  This is "Nature's Air-Conditioned City" and it rarely gets that hot being perched high above the Bluestone and East Rivers at an altitude of 2,612 feet above sea level!  Official temperatures are recorded at the Mercer County Airport and when the thermometer hits ninety degrees, the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce serves the community free lemonade to cool down!  This marketing tactic was developed by Chamber of Commerce Manager Eddie Steele in 1939 as a way to draw national attention to the community’s cool mountain climate.  And it has for decades including an appearance on the Today Show with Willard Scott!
 
Due to the mild temperatures of Bluefield, lemonade was not officially served until 1941.  Lemonade is free to all and served across the two Bluefields by "Lemonade Lassies," who are outstanding young women from the community.  Lemonade doesn't flow freely though!  For example, from 1960 and 1982, lemonade was only served once due to the cool summer weather.  Other times, the lemonade cannot come quick enough.  In 1988, the Chamber served lemonade a record seventeen times that summer and in 2007 the record was broken with eighteen days of lemonade being served. The tradition has proven its staying power by surviving lemon and sugar shortages during WWII, criticism from area clergymen, a strike by the lemonade lassies, and most recently, rampant controversy over the location of the official thermometer being downtown or at the Mercer County Airport.  Further, lemonade and lemons have become the unofficial logo of the community.

Our thanks go to sponsor Kwik Kafe for the donation of free lemonade served to the community on these special days.

 

Contact the Chamber

Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce
Post Office Box 4098
Bluefield, WV 24701
304.327.7184
info@bluefieldchamber.com

 

Merger Conversation with Princeton-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce

Conversations of merging the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) with the Princeton-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce (PMCCC) date back nearly fifty years.  Upon the announcement of the retirement of Robert Farley, President/CEO of PMCCC, the PMCCC executive committee approached the GBCC executive board about renewing these conversations.  A Joint Committee on Merger was formed to explore the matter and offer a recommendation.  The committee is made up of three executive committee members from each respective board with the president/CEO of each organization serving as an ex-officio.

This work is ongoing.  Membership listening sessions to gather feed back from the membership will provide information to the Joint Committee.  Please feel free to provide feedback to the Chamber staff and board of directors at anytime on this issue.  We welcome your remarks.

See the presentation presented at the membership listening sessions

 

 

 

 

About the Bluefields

Quality of Life Feature

Coalshow Directory

Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, Bluefield Coal Show, Better Living Show, Bluefield Coal Symposium, Lemonade Days
Serving business customers in the Greater Bluefield, WV area.