CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Dozens of West Virginians were on hand Friday at the state Culture Center to celebrate the state’s 151st birthday.

First Lady Joanne Tomblin and Secretary of Education and the Arts Kay Goodwin cut several large sheet cakes with the state symbol and ‘Happy Birthday’ written in icing. They handed out pieces of cake to those gathered for the birthday celebration.

Tomblin explained what the party was all about.

“To celebrate our state, to celebrate our people, to celebrate the great place in which we live and work.”

Events were scheduled all day at the Culture Center and at Independence Hall in Wheeling. But the scope of the party paled in comparison to last year’s sesquicentennial four-day celebration that included a 3-D movie projected onto the facade of the capitol, a parade, three nights of fireworks and dozens of other activities.

Tomblin said this year’s celebration is much smaller but still very important.

“It’s a birthday and everybody likes to celebrate birthdays. I think we need to celebrate the good folks we are, the good state we live in and the good people we have here,” the First Lady said.

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  • Rick55

    I moved to WV in 1983 having been born in Brooklyn (NY), raised in Ohio, undergrad in Ohio, grad school at VCU, lived in the Chicago area. In my 30+ years in WV, I have come to appreciate living here and plan to die and be buried here. No, the economy isn't good compared to most other states. But there are advantages to living here that in my travels I can truly say are wonderful things about living here.
    1) the mountains, hills, rivers and valleys are unsurpassed in beauty.
    2) the size of the state makes it easy to travel around and our highways are no worse than any other state.
    3) the crime rate is very low and you will NEVER find nicer people more willing to help, unpretentious people who generally work hard and believe in the American dream.
    4) God, country, and family seem to be foremost in West Virginian life, much more so than in other states.
    I think natives sometimes fail to see the forest through the trees and thought a transplant's perspective might help natives appreciate the things we do have. I love West Virginia and her people.

    • WV Guru

      The old joke about when St Pete was asked: Who are those folks with the ball and chains doing in Heaven. His reply was: Those are Wvians wanting to go Home.

    • The bookman


      Great perspective. I am a lifelong resident of the state, grew up in the EP, went to WVU, and settled in the high mountains. I have been coast to coast, Hudson Bay to Brownsville TX, and enjoyed my travels and experiences. But there is nowhere like WV. There is no utopia anywhere on the planet , and opportunity exists for the industrious and creative here as it does elsewhere. We can do better for ourselves and our children than we have in the past, and that is our challenge. Thanks for visiting, and glad you're staying.

  • WV

    A bunch of crooks and lairs cutting the cake. 151 years and still at the bottom of everything.

    • ViennaGuy

      - 151 years and still at the bottom of everything. -

      And what are you doing to improve it?

      • SamWv304

        Paying taxes. which don't seem to get used anywhere it should be. Anyone not had a flat tire and suspension problems this year yet?Some of the roads I have to travel aren't fit to take a shoed horse on. But I loveWest Virginia . Happy Birthday. to Us.