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West Virginia Day: State’s 160th birthday celebration starting at noon today at Culture Center

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CHARLESTON, WV – West Virginians are invited to the State Culture Center at the Capitol Complex in Charleston today to celebrate West Virginia’s 160th birthday.

The first 160 people to arrive will receive a limited edition 160th birthday commemorative gift handmade by local artisans with the Black Locust Woodshop in Charleston. Children and young adults who attend will receive a special gift as well. 


The festivities start at noon in the Culture Center Theater, when the Governor and First Lady Cathy Justice will arrive and greet guests, followed by special performances by West Virginia musicians.

Gov. Justice and the First Lady will also announce the winner of the West Virginia Birthday Punch Contest. The contest invited West Virginians to submit an original (non-alcoholic) punch recipe, with the winning recipe being served at the celebration.

After announcing the winner, the Governor and First Lady will perform the ceremonial cake cutting.

The official birthday cake of West Virginia, “Ms. Van’s Blackberry Skillet Cake” by Kim Wymer of Scott Depot which was awarded at last year’s birthday celebration will be served at the reception. 

The day will also feature a Golden Horseshoe Reunion, open to all former recipients of the Golden Horseshoe Award in recognition of their knowledge of West Virginia history. 

The ceremony will also include a photo with all Golden Horseshoe recipients in attendance.

A West Virginia Day reception will be held following the ceremony in the Theater.

At 2:00 p.m., The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History will host the 2nd annual History Bowl Legends Tournament, where past participants come together as All-Star teams to compete for bragging rights.

For those unable to attend in-person, the West Virginia Day ceremonies will be broadcast live on the West Virginia Channel. The ceremonies will also be live streamed online.