Happy birthday, WV! 11 ways to celebrate (here & afar)
Happy birthday, West Virginia! Our great state turns 153 this year on June 20.
Here are 11 ways for mountain folk near and far to celebrate:
Celebrate here in good ol’ WV:
1. Blenko Glass
June 17-18- Every year, Blenko Glass in Milton creates a special edition piece to celebrate the state’s birthday. There are only 153 pieces this year, so get in line early. There will be an open house Friday night, and the birthday piece goes on sale Saturday at 8 am. It’s a guaranteed sellout!
Don’t miss these main events: the Mayor’s Concert (featuring the Temptations and Four Tops), The Capitol Street Art Fair/Children’s Art Fair/Library Street Fair, productions by the Charleston Light Opera Guild, Mountain Stage, Smoke on the Water Chili Cook-Off, Dance Gala, Wine & All That Jazz, riverboat rides, major theatre productions, international talent and Craft Blues, Brews & BBQ.
3. Welcome Centers Celebrate
West Virginia’s interstate welcome centers each have different special events planned for the big day. Meet costumed characters from our state’s rich history, hear some authentic mountain sounds like the dulcimer, and try plenty of pepperoni rolls and other local treats.
There will also be refreshments, music and other entertainment, exhibitors, giveaways and more.
4. Pricketts Fort State Park
Celebrate West Virginia statehood with half price admission to this re-created living history fort. You will find blacksmiths, spinners, weavers and other traditional artisans at work. Stop into thegun shop to see the only public demonstrations of 18th century firearm manufacturing in the state.
5. Spot the State Symbols
Take your family on a scenic drive. Who can be the first to spot a maple tree, rhododendron, black bear, cardinal or monarch butterfly?
6. Join the party!
All-star music festivals, tug-of-war across the riverbed, a 3-pit mud bog, celebrations spilling through the streets— you know we’re going big all across the state. Browse all the best b-day bash events!
Celebrate from afar:
7. Mountain Stage hits Washington, DC
June 21- Join the exclusive #WhyListen party to sample new music and revisit some favorites from the Mountain Stage archives. Judge each tune and join in the discussion with host Larry Groce, producer Joni Deutsch and special guest artist William Matheny.
Get your tickets to the intimate party at The Hamilton in DC (which also serves cocktails mixed up with West Virginia’s own award-winning distillery, Smooth Ambler Spirits.) But hurry— there are only 100 seats!
8. Order Pepperoni Rolls
If you’re looking for a taste of home, the state’s most famous food is at your fingertips. You can ship pepperoni rolls packed full of zesty pepperoni and smooth provolone or spicy hot pepper cheese all over the United States.
Chico Bakery, maker of Julia’s Pepperoni Roll, is the largest pepperoni roll producer in the United States. They make more than 12,000 rolls every day, still using the original recipe that Julia herself created in 1925.
If you want Rogers and Mazza’s pepperoni rolls in time for West Virginia Day, allow 2 weeks to receive your order. They’ll arrive fresh and ready to eat!
You can even still order up a fresh batch from the original shop where it was first baked, Country Club Bakery.
9. Learn West Virginia History
History comes alive in “West Virginia 150: Commemorating Statehood,” a 1-hour radio documentary that explores the state’s rich cultural diversity and how it shaped today’s West Virginians.
The Emmy-nominated television piece “West Virginia: The Road to Statehood” examines the issues, differences and disagreements that divided the Commonwealth of Virginia throughout what is now West Virginia.
10. Drink a Locally Brewed Beer
West Virginia’s craft brew industry is booming. Here’s where to enjoy a great, locally brewed craft beer:
- Bridge Brew Works (Fayetteville) will release a birthday special beer, made with salt from local J.Q. Dickinson Salt Works
- The North End Tavern (Parkersburg)
- Mountain State Brewing Co. (Thomas & Morgantown) pays homage to the state’s all-too-true nickname with its “Almost Heaven Amber Ale.”
11. Read a Book by a West Virginia Author
“October Sky” by Homer Hickam is the story of a coal miner’s son who was inspired by the first Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father’s wishes.
“Storming Heaven” by Denise Giardina, which won the W.D. Weatherford Award, is a fictionalized account of the labor strife in the coalfields of southern West Virginia in the 1920s.
“When I Was Young in the Mountains” by Cynthia Rylant is an award-winning children’s book based on her life growing up in Raleigh County.
These are just a few of the ways to celebrate. Happy birthday, West Virginia!
This post was last updated on March 16, 2022