National Pike Festival

Pike Festival, National

May
The National Pike Festival (also known as the National Road Festival) is literally the "world's longest festival"—90 miles of events along Route 40 in southwestern Pennsylvania and parts of West Virginia and Ohio. The original section of the road (or "pike," as in turnpike road) from Baltimore to Cumberland, Maryland, was Thomas Jefferson's idea in 1806. The section between Cumberland and Wheeling, West Virginia, was the first road to receive federal funding in 1811.
Since 1974 the festival has commemorated America's first transportation link from the East to the western frontier. It was originally designed as a Bicentennial event in Pennsylvania, but the idea caught on quickly, and towns along Route 40 in nearby states were eager to add their own events.
The festival begins on a weekend in mid-May as locales from western Maryland through southwestern Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio celebrate "the road that made the nation." Wagon trains originating from all parts travel along the route known as the National Road. When they set up camp for the night, there are bonfires and other entertainment to which the public is invited. Inns, taverns, toll-houses, and other historic buildings along the route host tours and special ceremonies.
CONTACTS:
National Road Heritage Corridor
65 W. Main St., 2nd Fl.
Uniontown, PA 15401
724-437-9877; fax: 724-437-6550
www.nationalroadpa.org
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