West Virginians will mark West Virginia Day with celebration, drawing at state Capitol

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginians will mark West Virginia Day with a celebration at the state Capitol Complex, in which officials will announce the first winners of the coronavirus vaccination lottery.

West Virginians who received at least one vaccine dose before Thursday were eligible to register for the “Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change your life” sweepstakes. Around 246,000 people registered to win prizes, including $1 million, custom-outfitted trucks, four-year scholarships to any state public institution, lifetime fishing and hunting licenses, custom hunting rifles and shotguns, and weekend passes to West Virginia State Parks.

The celebration outside of the state Capitol will include multiple food trucks and vendors. The state will also have a free coronavirus vaccination clinic on Kanawha Boulevard from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees must bring a valid driver’s license or an identification card and a recent utility bill.

The Pfizer vaccine and the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available.

This year’s Blenko glass vase to mark West Virginia Day. (West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History)

The vaccination winners will be announced at 1 p.m. Babydog, Gov. Jim Justice’s bulldog, will be at the event.

Gov. Jim Justice and state Department of Administration Secretary Allan McVey will also hold a special presentation marking the completion of renovations to the state Capitol dome.

The governor will join Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams at 2:30 for the dedication of a new Gold Star Families Memorial Monument located outside of the Capitol.

The state Culture Center will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Three new limited-edition Blenko glasses pieces will go on sale starting at 1 p.m.

The new pieces include a pitcher and vase, in which there are 35 pieces available for $88 per item, as well as a special Governor’s Father’s Day mug, which will sell for $60. Only 50 mugs are available.

The Culture Center will also host a birthday cake cutting at 3 p.m. The governor and First Lady Cathy Justice will lead the ceremony. Cathy Justice will also honor the winners of the “Renaming West Virginia” student essay contest.

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