W.Va. Department of Arts, Culture and History sites to host West Virginia Day Celebrations on June 20

Left: 2020 limited edition Blenko West Virginia Birthday pitcher on sale June 20 for $88. Only 35 available. Right: 2021 limited edition Blenko Governor’s Father’s Day mug on sale June 20 for $60. Only 50 available. Photographs courtesy of the WVDACH.
Left: 2020 limited edition Blenko West Virginia Birthday pitcher on sale June 20 for $88. Only 35 available. Right: 2021 limited edition Blenko Governor’s Father’s Day mug on sale June 20 for $60. Only 50 available. Photographs courtesy of the WVDACH.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History (WVDACH) invites guests to come celebrate West Virginia’s 158th birthday with special activities at each of the department’s sites across the state. The Culture Center in Charleston, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville and West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling will all welcome visitors with special hours on Sunday, June 20. All activities are free and open to the public.

The Culture Center in Charleston will open from 1 – 5 p.m. with festivities happening throughout the day. Three new limited-edition Blenko glass pieces will go on sale beginning at 1 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. The new pieces include a 2020 limited-edition pitcher and a 2021 limited-edition vase, with 35 of each piece available for $88 per item; and a special Governor’s Father’s Day mug, which will sell for $60 with only 50 available. Additionally, the department will be selling past Blenko pieces, along with other past items, including First Lady ornaments, department-published books and sesquicentennial plates. The sale will last until 3 p.m. or all inventory is exhausted.

The Culture Center also will be featuring two new exhibits for West Virginia Day. A new Blenko exhibit will be on display in the Great Hall Theater Gallery with a complete set of Blenko West Virginia Birthday vases. There also will be an opening of a new panel exhibit featuring the recent Capitol Dome Restoration, along with videos showing the complete process of the restoration.

The State Museum Education room will host activities for the entire family, which will include “Crafting from the Capitol,” using the Capitol as a guide to mold your own ’dome;’ “Appalachian Art,” where guests will pull inspiration from the Mountain State to create artwork with watercolor; and “Brain Games,” visitors can test their knowledge of all things West Virginia with trivia and quizzes.

Finally, at 3 p.m. in the Culture Center Great Hall, a West Virginia birthday cake will be presented while “Happy Birthday” is sung, and birthday cupcakes and cookies will be served to all in attendance.

Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville also will open their doors on West Virginia Day from 1- 5 p.m. Family activities during the day include a craft at the museum’s “Discovery” table where visitors can show their Mountaineer pride by making a fan to keep cool this summer. The fan proclaims, “I’m a West Virginia Fan!” and features an outline of the state that can be colored according to the artist’s imagination.

West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling will host hours from noon to 5 p.m. on June 20 and will feature Abraham Lincoln on site. Beginning at noon, John W. King, a first-person portrayer of Abraham Lincoln, will read Proclamation 100 – Admitting West Virginia into the Union followed by photos with ‘Lincoln.’ In 2013, King won the “Lincoln Look-Alike Contest” at the Shriver House Museum in Gettysburg, Penn. For the past 25 years, he has been telling the story of the 16th president during great conflict. The Hall will also offer birthday cake for guests to celebrate.

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