CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia turned 159 years old on Monday and many citizens turned out at the state Capitol Complex to celebrate.
Governor Jim Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice enjoyed the festivities at the state Culture Center which included music, food, and a Golden Horseshoe Reunion.
Kim Wymer of Scott Depot was announced as the winner of the West Virginia Birthday Cake Contest for her creation of the “Ms. Van’s Blackberry Skillet Cake.”
Wymer told MetroNews she got her inspiration in part because her mother used to make pineapple upside down cake in a skillet and her always picking blackberries in the wild.
“Ms. Van’s Blackberry Skillet Cake” – is now the official birthday cake of West Virginia, the governor’s office said. It will be served annually on June 20 to commemorate the anniversary of West Virginia’s statehood.
“I was excited to be a finalist, I felt like I was already a winner being in that group. When I was called, I just could not believe it. I feel like I’m dreaming,” Wymer said.
In addition to her recipe becoming the state’s official birthday cake, Wymer also won a $500 Visa gift card, a custom cake platter, and was awarded a certificate as the contest’s grand prize winner.
According to the governor’s office, the Blackberry Skillet Cake was selected as the best among seven cake recipes. All finalist cake recipes were taste-tested by the First Lady, Gov. Jim Justice, Executive Assistant to the First Lady Vicki Shannon, Special Assistant to the First Lady Katie Morris, and other staff members.
Those who submitted cake recipes that were selected as finalists have each won a $100 Visa gift card and have been awarded a participation certificate.
Following the announcement of the cake winner, Justice was honorably knighted with a Golden Horseshoe in recognition of his service to West Virginia and support of the state’s history.
The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History held its inaugural History Bowl Legends Tournament in the afternoon. Patrons enjoyed cake, Babydog cookies and were able to meet Justice and sign a West Virginia birthday card.
The Capital High School choir and Wyatt Blankenship provided music.
Mary Dooley, a Charleston resident told MetroNews she did not want to miss the celebration. “It’s West Virginia Day. Because I’ve been in West Virginia for 83 years, I feel like this is the place for me to come,” she said.