How can a small county in rural West Virginia get nationwide publicity without spending a fortune? With a little imagination, that's how.
Officials in rural Upshur County, West Virginia made the national news yesterday with their nationwide essay contest, which will provide the winner with a free wedding and $15,000 worth of prizes. All the entrants have to do is describe, in 100 words or less, why a wedding in the hills of West Virginia would be a dream come true.
Residents of the state get no preference in the contest, which aims to lure new residents to Buckhannon, located about 130 miles south of Pittsburgh and named one of the "100 best small towns in America" in a 1995 book of the same name by Norman Cramptin.
In addition to the wedding and a fried-chicken-dinner reception, the winners will receive an acre of land and a $500 scholarship for the couple's first child to attend nearby West Virginia Wesleyan College.