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West Virginia celebrates Sesquicentennial this weekend

Jun. 20, 2013 @ 07:18 AM

HUNTINGTON — It’s West Virginia’s 150th birthday.

And you know our crazily carved state that’s been home to everyone from Jesco White and Hasil Adkins to Ada “Bricktop” Smith, Devil Anse Hatfield and “Buckwild,” doesn’t have to be asked twice to get its party on.

So for those not exiled this weekend in West Virginia’s southern panhandle (Myrtle Beach), here are more than a few cool ways to get your WV150 party on Mountain State style.

Three nights of fireworks
You know the only state birthed out of the Civil War is going get its explosions on, and Charleston’s doing it epic with three nights of firework lights in the glow of the gold dome.

The official state celebration rolls Thursday through Saturday at the Capitol. At 10 p.m. each night, enjoy three nights of  “150 in 3-D: A Century and a Half of WV Pride,”  a 3-D video spectacular projected directly on the State Capitol followed by world-famous Zambelli Fireworks.

Other highlights include the WV Symphony Orchestra and The Appalachian Children’s Chorus on the State Capitol steps – 7:30 p.m. Thursday; The Charleston Light Opera Guild’s three nights of “The Civil War,” a Broadway musical, and at 6:30 p.m. Saturday will be a free concert by Lonestar & Ronnie Milsap on the State Capitol steps.

Go online at www.birthday.wv.gov for a full list of events.

A sense of place
The Huntington Museum of Art has unveiled a project that carves right into the heart of that spirit of the state motto “Montani Semper Liberi (Mountaineers Always Free).” For if anyone is free, it’s artists.

That mountaineer freedom is on full display as 18 of the state’s best working college and university professors and artists’ visions come alive in the invitational exhibit, “Macy’s Presents: A Sense of Place: The West Virginia Sesquicentennial Artist Invitational.”

“Sense of Place” hosts a grand opening from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at the museum featuring a meet-and-greet reception with the artists as well as a short video shot by Brad Boston that shows the workspaces of many of the artists. Admission is free to the Sesquicentennial weekend reception.

For more information on events at HMA, visit www.hmoa.org or call 304-529-2701. HMA is fully accessible.

On your Mark, get set, symphony
Armed with the 55-member-strong Huntington Symphony Orchestra as his backing band, Broadway powerhouse vocalist Mark McVey and his fellow professional singing sister Beth McVey swing back home Saturday, June 22, to help the orchestra kick off its 2013 Picnic with the Pops series at Harris Riverfront Park.

And perhaps, even more importantly, help the symphony — under the direction of the spirited Kimo Furumoto —  give West Virginia some sweet 150th anniversary musical love in a show titled, “Happy Birthday, West Virginia.”

General admission tickets are $20, a few $40 reserved tickets remain and all tables are sold out.

Kids ages 12 and under get in free. Tickets are now on sale and may be purchased at Mug and Pia plus Simply Whisk both in downtown Huntington as well as online at www.huntingtonsymphony.org or by calling 304-781-8343.

Gates open at 5 p.m. The concert at 8 p.m.

A Blenko-blown birthday
Any ol’ state can throw some candles on a cake, but how many states get an awesome limited-edition hand-blown birthday gift annually?

West Virginia sure does as the world-famous, Milton-made Blenko Glass, hosts its 33rd anniversary WV Birthday celebration that centers around its recently created WV birthday piece.

The 2013 Blenko WV Day Celebration runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday June 22, at the Blenko Visitor Center. There will be 150 vases and each will be $160 plus tax. No advance or phone orders are accepted. Pieces are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis and limited to one per customer. No discounts or coupons apply.

Blenko will also be having “Happy After Hours with Blenko Glass” from 7-9 p.m. Friday in the Visitor Center, after it closes at 4 p.m. There will be two special edition pieces available for purchase, discounts, signing event with Walter Blenko Jr. and designer Arlon Bayliss, and more. Blenko Glass, Fairgrounds Road, Milton.

Go online at www.blenkoglass.com for more info.

All Aboard For The Greenbrier
To celebrate the WV150, The Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society has put together a special trip on Friday, June 21 by private historic railroad coach to famous Greenbrier Resort.

Board in Huntington or Charleston and take this one-way trip (through the New River Gorge) and over east by private historic railcars. The trip includes breakfast on board, buffet lunch at Greenbrier, Bunker Tour, afternoon tea and concert, access to new casino and motorcoach home with a stop at Tamarack. Call 1-866-639-7487 to make reservations.

What Is .. West Virginia trivia
Celebrate the WV150 at the Cabell County Public Library, 455 9th St., Huntington, from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, June 20, where they’ll have everything from WV Jeopardy and Appalachian music to balloon animals and  a story time reading of West Virginia author’s books.

There will also be refreshments and more on the first floor. Go online at www.cabell.lib.wv.us for more info.

Worth A Wave
Join West Virginian Wayne Worth in his annual West Virginia Day celebration of waving at motorists.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, June 20, Worth and a collection of friends will be celebrating West Virginia’s 150th Birthday by the Cabell County Courthouse, at the corner of 5th Avenue and 8th Street in Huntington.

Come for 15 minutes, an hour, or the whole day if you want and show your state pride in waving at motorist and reminding them of this special day in our history.

This Anniversary is Booked
Drug Emporium in Barboursville has announced that it will be hosting a Mountain State author book signing from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 22, featuring West Virginia writers Cat Pleska and Frank Larnerd.

Pleska, of Scott Depot, is the editor of the critically acclaimed anthology, “Fed from the Blade,” and also teaches writing at West Virginia State University, where she is the director of the WVSU Writing Center. Larnerd, of Winfield, is an award-winning author and the senior editor of “Hills of Fire: Bare-Knuckle Tales of Appalachia.”

For more information about the event, contact Drug Emporium at 304-736-0874, or see www.drugemp.com . The store is located at 3 Mall Road, Barboursville.

For And Against Statehood
The historic Madie Carroll House, located at 234 Guyan St., Huntington, is hosting a 150th WV Birthday celebration from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 20.

Union Civil War re-enactors and Yankee supporters will be celebrating while Confederates will be “voicing” their opinions about this situation removing them as citizens loyal to the mother state of Virginia. Refreshments will be served and there will be activities and live music as well at the house, which is one of the few buildings in the then city of Guyandotte to survive the burning of the town during the Civil War.

Come out and check out the new Civil War Trails historic markers that were added earlier this year to tell the story of the Madie Carroll House and Guyandotte’s role during the Civil War.

Pullman Party — WV Style
The Dawg’s Pullman Square Summer Concert Series at Pullman Square will celebrate the WV 150 with a ceremony at 6 p.m. Events include the presenting of the colors, the singing of the “National Anthem” by Angie Fletcher and Jim Rumbaugh will perform the “West Virginia Hills.” West Virginia Birthday cake for 150 people will be served in honor of the state’s 150th birthday and Cabell County’s oldest known living citizen, Helen Diddle, 105, will also be recognized. 

Jabberwocky will perform from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., and their performance will include a special edition of John Denver’s “Country Roads” featuring several West Virginia singers at approximately 8 p.m.

Ritter Park Celebration
The Cabell County Republican Executive Committee is sponsoring a Sesquicentennial Celebration at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 20 at the Ritter Park shelter with the West Virginia Military Academy, the Lizzie Cabell Finishing School for Young Ladies, local music, Stewart’s Hotdogs and Rootbeer (at 7 p.m.) face painting, mayor Steve Williams and other political leaders.

A fine welcome to West Virginia
Celebrate West Virginia’s 150th birthday at the first welcome center after entering the state eastbound on Interstate 64.  The I-64 East Welcome Center, at mile marker 10 in Huntington, will serve birthday cupcakes and other refreshments beginning at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 20. There will also be several vendors on display, including The Huntington Museum of Art, ACE White Water Rafting and Mardi Gras Casino & Resort.

For more information, call 304-522-1062 or email i64ewelcome@wv.gov.



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