West Virginia’s 149th year of statehood will be celebrated with a variety of events and festivities on Wednesday, June 20.
“West Virginia Day is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the rich heritage and cultural traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. After 149 years of statehood, there are countless West Virginians who deserve to be honored for their contributions to the Mountain State,” Tomblin said. “On this day, I encourage all West Virginians to celebrate all that makes our state great.”
Locally, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s Channel 17 (Suddenlink Cable TV) has received clearance to air “West Virginia — A Film History” in its entirety that day. The six and a half hour epic produced in 1995 in part by the WV Humanities Council is narrated by Richard Thomas and includes the great struggles and triumphs of this great state. The program will air beginning at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 20.
At Chief Logan State Park, experts in tracing family roots will be at the Museum in the Park from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Members of the Logan County Genealogical Society will be on hand to explain how to research family history, where to find documents, and how to fill out and read a multigenerational chart. They also will provide lists of available online and published resources.
Celebrations in Charleston will include new exhibits, special tours, historic speeches and characters, and birthday cake.
Tomblin will cut the birthday cake at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Culture Center in Charleston while the Division hosts the grand opening of the exhibits “Seeds of Sectionalism: West Virginia’s Struggle for Statehood 1775-1863” and “The West Virginia State Capitol 80th Anniversary.”
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., historical characters will share stories with visitors to the West Virginia State Museum, while a West Virginia film festival will be featured in the Education Media Room. Visitors can participate in the West Virginia Journeys’ program, add to the tape collection of “What West Virginia Means to Me,” and take guided tours of the state Capitol.
At 11:30 a.m., Bryan Ward, assistant director of West Virginia Archives and History, will discuss the construction of the state Capitol in the Great Hall. After the cutting of the birthday cake, there will be a musical concert by Kanawha Tradition and distribution of commemorative tokens of the Capitol. A presentation of West Virginia Journeys’ awards also will be offered.
On Saturday and Sunday, Museum in the Park will host a historic outdoor encampment from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in celebration of West Virginia Day.
Local and regional re-enactors will live and work on the museum grounds wearing period clothing and demonstrating different techniques used by settlers and Native Americans. Visitors will witness the lifestyle, living conditions, occupations and recreations of these early frontiersmen and women.