W.Va. 150th birthday celebration planned

PARKERSBURG – Vienna city officials and Parkersburg Woman’s Club representatives outlined plans for West Virginia’s upcoming birthday celebration in June.

Judith Parrish with the woman’s club told Wood County commissioners the state is proposing a June 20 bell-ringing at churches around the state and there are plans to participate locally.

“We are working closing with the schools on a number of educational projects. There are also plans to plant maple trees and flowers for the 150th birthday celebration,” she said.

“Carlin’s Battery will be holding a weekend long event on Fort Boreman Hill. We will also be at the Vienna community center for the whole day on May 26. We will be firing off the cannon and passing out West Virginia flags,” said Jim Miracle with Carlin’s Battery Civil War reenactors. “We will ask the kids to bring their flags back at a June 20 birthday event and we’ll have a door prizes,” Miracle said.

“We will be occupying Fort Boreman Hill along with the 17th Virginia on the weekend, June 22-23. We plan to have an encampment, do drills, fire the cannon. The camps will be open to the public. There will be a dance, a ladies’ tea and birthday cake. With the aid of the Humanities Council, we were able to get a Stonewall Jackson impersonator. It should be a fun weekend,” Miracle said.

Carlin’s Battery has also been invited to fire off its cannon during the finale of the birthday celebration at the Capitol. They will attend along with Kanawha Battery from St. Marys.

“We are joining with the Wood County Board of Education, going to all the schools. We will have coloring contests for the younger children, of the state bird, the cardinal, and there will be essay contests and art projects. That is all in the planning stages right now,” Parrish said.

“We know the city of Parkersburg and Wood County will all be planning events, and we just want to make sure we coordinate everything so everyone can attend all the events,” said Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp.

“We will have state flags lining Grand Central Avenue for the entire month. There are plans to plant flowers, and we will host a parade featuring antique cars. There will be a middle school poster contest and T-shirt to commemorate the event. The key is just not to overlap other events,” Rapp said.

“We certainly want to be involved, so keep us informed,” said commission President Wayne Dunn.

“You might also contact the Convention and Visitors Bureau. This will be an opportunity to promote the area as a tourist destination as well,” said Commissioner Blair Couch.