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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.

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.