Tomblin announces plans for state’s birthday

CHARLESTON – Plans were announced Thursday for the celebration of West Virginia’s 150th birthday organized by the West Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission.

The activities will take place at the State Capitol Complex beginning on the state’s birthday, June 20, and concluding on Sunday, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said.

“West Virginians still talk about the centennial celebration that took place on the Capitol steps in 1963. It was a day that made all of us proud to be West Virginians,” Tomblin said. “This June, our state will turn 150, and I know West Virginians from every corner of the Mountain State will be filled with pride as we celebrate our big day. The events at the state Capitol will be something you won’t want to miss.”

West Virginia was created on June 20, 1863, during the Civil War by proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln. The western counties remained loyal to the Union.

The birthday celebration will kick-off with a statewide bell ringing at 1:50 p.m. June 20. The governor will be in Charleston to ring a bell as a part of a ceremony.

On that evening, an outdoor symphony concert will be held on the Capitol lawn. Following the concert, West Virginia history will be brought to life in a special three-dimensional film that will be projected onto the face of the Capitol building. The video will conclude with a Zambelli fireworks show launched from the roof of the Capitol.

The celebration will continue throughout the weekend. On Saturday morning, the commission and FestivALL will hold a parade ending at the Capitol where a day-long festival with family friendly events will continue into the evening.

The celebration will be spread across the Capitol grounds and will include outdoor concerts, a vintage car show, the Smoke on the Water Chili Cook-Off, elements of the Vandalia Gathering, history lectures, Civil War re-enactors, sternwheeler rides, West Virginia food and craft vendors and a giant birthday cake. On Saturday evening, the Capitol will come to life with another showing of the 3-D film followed by another huge Zambelli fireworks show.

The 3-D films, custom-crafted for projection onto the surfaces of iconic landmarks without a screen, are a cutting-edge art form and have become a worldwide sensation. They have headlined marquee events such as the Queen’s Jubilee, where a 3-D film was projected onto Buckingham Palace and New Year’s Eve in New York City where the “screen” was the legendary Saks Fifth Avenue.

This production will be the first of its kind in West Virginia.

The schedule of events is:

Thursday, June 20

1:50 p.m.: Statewide bell ringing

1:50 p.m.: Sesquicentennial Ceremony, State Capitol

4 p.m.: Civil War, the Broadway musical performed by the Charleston Light Opera Guild, Culture Center Theater

7:30 p.m.: Performances by the West Virginia Symphony and Appalachian Children’s Chorus, Capitol Steps

10 p.m.: 150 in 3-D: A Century and a Half of West Virginia Pride with Zambelli fireworks, State Capitol

Friday, June 21

7 p.m.: Civil War, the Broadway musical performed by the Charleston Light Opera Guild, Culture Center Theater

10 p.m.: 150 in 3-D: A Century and a Half of West Virginia Pride with Zambelli fireworks, State Capitol

Saturday, June 22

10 a.m.: WV150 History and Art Parade, Kanawha Boulevard

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Free sternwheeler rides, Haddad Park

10 a.m. to 10 p.m.: WV150 Celebration, State Capitol To include the Smoke on the Water Chili Cook-Off, vintage car show, outdoor concerts, elements of the Vandalia Gathering, activities for children, history lectures, Civil War re-enactors, West Virginia food and craft vendors, birthday cake

2 p.m. and 7 p.m.: Civil War, the Broadway musical performed by the Charleston Light Opera Guild, Culture Center Theater

10 p.m.: 150 in 3-D: A Century and a Half of West Virginia Pride with Zambelli fireworks, State Capitol

Sunday, June 23

2 p.m. and 7 p.m.: Civil War, the Broadway musical performed by the Charleston Light Opera Guild, Culture Center Theater