Helvetia welcomes you to celebrate our 57th Annual Fasnacht.

An indoor and outdoor event, we invite you to join us from 3p to 10p for a celebration of winter, the changing seasons, and a pre-Lenten tradition that dates back to 1520 in Switzerland. Sometimes called the Mardi Gras of Appalachia, Fasnacht is German for "fasting night," which celebrates a grand feast before a fast. Helvetia's Fasnacht combines the customs of the Swiss Fasnacht and Sechseläuten, a traditional spring holiday celebrated in the Swiss city of Zürich where they burn an effigy of winter to welcome spring.

We will enjoy fatty foods, listen to Swiss & Appalachian tunes, wear homemade masks to scare away Old Man Winter, parade with lampions, and burn an effigy of the Old Man in hopes of a healthy and happy spring.

Please join us for a celebration that is dear to our community. We only ask that you participate with care and tenderness toward our small village. This event is coordinated entirely by a small group of volunteers so please temper expectations and offer a helping hand to any in need.

All proceeds benefit the village's restoration, development, and archives.
General Admission (Adult) - $25
General Admission includes a homemade hozablatz, rosette, or donut (as supplies last), a toy for the children (as supplies last), a music jam session inside the Star Band Hall, access to the Helvetia Museum & Archives, a masquerade where twenty-five masks are awarded a handmade Swiss flag, and admission to the Alpine-Appalachian square dance from 7-10p.
General Admission (Youth 12-17) - $10
Youth attendance includes the same offerings as General Admission.
Children 11 & Under - Free Admission
Children are encouraged to attend for free. Old Man Winter will have a toy for children (as supplies last), and we would love for you to participate in the masquerade by donning your very own homemade mask. Extra handmade Swiss flags are awarded to masked children.
The feast before the fast.
All ticket sales are final.
No refunds or transfers permitted.
All activities are available to those who purchase general admission tickets. Tickets purchased in advance will be available at the will call tent near the Historic Square. Due to popularity, ticket sales on the day of may be limited or unavailable. General admission tickets will receive priority at the dance, but if space allows, dance admission may be purchased at the Community Hall door.
Schedule subject to change.
Helvetia Historic Square
Most of Fasnacht's festivities will take place near Helvetia's Historic Square including the masquerade, mask judging, and the start of the lampion parade to burn Old Man Winter. Craft vendors will be located inside the Helvetia Community Hall. The traditional, music jam session takes place inside the Star Band Hall. Finally, the burning of Old Man Winter and the Alpine-Appalachian Square Dance will take place at the Helvetia Community Hall. All locations are within walking distance of each other, and your Fasnacht wrist band must be presented for admission.

Food will be available for purchase throughout the community.
Directions can be found here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can i Stay?
Lodging in Helvetia is extremely limited. Please check Facebook for links to places nearby to stay overnight. There are several rentals within a 20 minute drive and hotels can be found roughly 45 minutes away in Buckhannon or Elkins.
What are your covid Protocols?
If feeling ill, please do not attend. For the immune-compromised, consider wearing a medical mask indoors and in crowded areas. We will offer hand sanitizer and bathrooms will be available throughout the village.
Is the event rain or shine?
Snow or shine this event will be held but some adjustments to activities and schedule may be necessary. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable, please purchase at your own risk.
Can I bring my dog?
Leashed dogs are welcome outdoors. ONLY service animals are permitted inside. Please beware that inside locations may be crowded. 
Do I have to wear a mask?
All are welcome. But we would love it if you created a handmade mask to share in the tradition. There are papier-mâché tutorials online. Have fun!
Is this event Family friendly?
Yes, all, especially families, are welcome. We encourage diverse attendance as the celebration is so much better for it. Please dress warmly and bring extra supplies to keep yourself comfortable and hydrated. 
Where can I eat?
The Hütte Restaurant will be open first-come-first serve from 12p-7p. We recommend you arrive early to distribute patronage on the Hütte's small kitchen. There will also be Cayse's Kitchen vendor in the Community Hall, a food truck, and the general store Swiss Roots will be open from 10a-7p.
How do I get to Helvetia?
Beware that cell service is not available in Helvetia. And sometimes digital maps send navigators on a dirt road and through river. No joke! Confirm digital map directions abide by the paths described on this webpage.
Can I volunteer?
Aren't you a doll! This event is put on by volunteers, so yes, we would love to consider you for more help. Email [email protected] to put those hands to work. Danke!
Where can I park?
The Helvetia Community Hall parking lot is the largest parking area in the community. It is free. Street parking is free, too. Only park in the Hütte parking lot if you are a patron of the restaurant. 
Who is the Band at the dance?
Prepare your dance card cause this music is going to make your feet fly!  Tessa McCoy and the State Birds will perform from 7-10p. If you only want to come to the dance, stamps at the dance door will be available as space is available for $10/adult; $5/12-17years old. 
How can I learn more about Helvetia?
Visit www.helvetiawv.com or learn even more by purchasing a history book about Helvetia. We'll ship it to you!
Custom wares including an Old Man Winter stein, linocut Fasnacht tote, and Fasnacht shirt.
We'll try to get more of these items for pre-sale. All purchases must be picked up at the festival on 2/10/2024. We cannot ship these items.
Old Man Winter
A big 24 oz pour at 7” high, custom Fasnacht stein by WV artist Jamie Lester!
Swiss flag
Lampion includes a candle and a stick for the Fasnacht parade.
Fasnacht Feast
On a canvas tote, the linocut feast of Fasnacht by WV artist Nichole Westfall.
Printed on dark gray, Fasnacht's bonfire on a tee by WV artist Nicholas Tankersley.
Long Sleeve Shirt
Printed on dark gray, Fasnacht's bonfire on a long sleeve tee by Nicholas Tankersley.
Helvetia Historic Trail
Print of Helvetia's historic trail map by WV artist Rosalie Haizlett. 
“When we put on a mask, we think we’re hiding, but we’re really revealing.”
- Mike Roh, Morgantown, West Virginia
All ticket sales are final.
No refunds or transfers permitted.
Need help?
If you can't find what you need from the information above, please feel free to reach out to us. We ask for your patience as we are a volunteer-driven event, and it may take time for us to respond to inquiries. 

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