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90-degree lemonade giveaway ‘great identifier for Bluefield’, W.Va.

By Greg Jordan for the Bluefield Daily Telegraph

A sign welcoming citizens to Bluefield is seen featuring a tall glass of lemonade. Giving away lemonade when the temperature hits 90 degrees has long been a tradition of the city.  Staff photo by Eric DiNovo

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — Eighty years ago one of Bluefield’s local promoters had an idea to advertise “Nature’s Air Conditioned City” by offering free nights at hotel, but this promotion was switched to free lemonade when the hotel promotion proved to be unexpectedly expensive.

In 1939, Eddie Steele of Bluefield, who had been working at a newspaper in Australia, came up with an idea to promote the city, Bill Archer, retired senior editor of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph said. 

Steele talked a local businessman, W.P. Cole Sr., into giving away free rooms at the West Virginian Hotel in downtown Bluefield when the temperature reached 90 degrees, Archer recalled. The hotel was finished in 1925 and it was still a well-known landmark in southern West Virginia.

Unfortunately, the hotel hosted an Odd Fellows convention during the summer of 1939. Then the temperature hit 90 degrees. …

Read more: https://www.bdtonline.com/news/degree-lemonade-giveaway-great-identifier-for-bluefield/article_78c5aafe-a1ea-11e9-91a1-771b546eb674.html

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