CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The celebration of West Virginia’s 150th anniversary of statehood will be marked with a lot of activities which make West Virginia unique. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin starts the event on Thursday, West Virginia Day, with a bell ringing at the state capitol at 1:50 p.m. Tomblin has asked for bells to toll across the state at that time to celebrate 150 years as a state.
During the same ceremony, Tomblin along with U.S. Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin will be joined by a representative of the U.S. Postal Service for the official unveiling of the commemorative West Virginia 150 Postage Stamp. The unique artwork features a photograph of the West Virginia mountains taken on the Scenic Highway in Pocahontas County.
“When you see it, it’s really what people think of when they think of West Virginia,” said Chelsea Ruby, chair of the Sesquicentennial Celebration. “It’s just a beautiful landscape of the state.”
The rest of Thursday will be marked with vendors, music, and exhibits. The West Virginia Symphony and Appalachian Children’s Chorus will do a concert on the lawn. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights will be capped with the premier of the new movie “150 in 3-D” projected directly onto the state capitol building and a huge fireworks show.
“It’s something we’ve never done here before, it’s really neat,” Ruby said. “They take this brand new technology and actually map out a 3D film on the face of the capitol without a screen. It’s amazing technology and something people will really want to see.”
Saturday will feature a big day with more food, music, and live events on the capitol grounds in Charleston.
“We’ll have a parade featuring close to 2,000 people with a representative from every West Virginia county in the parade,” said Ruby.
Visitors will also enjoy the resumption of the Vandalia Gathering which was split this year and cut short on Memorial Day weekend to be picked up for this weekend.
“There’s something for everybody and we’re just hoping everybody comes out to celebrate,” said Ruby.