West Virginia - Wild and Wonderful

About West Virginia

West Virginia is noted for its mountains and diverse topography, its historically significant logging and coal mining industries, and its political and labor history. It is one of the most densely karstic areas in the world, making it a choice area for recreational caving and scientific research.

Business

West Virginia is full of opportunity for any business with a growing economy and a highly dedicated workforce. Whether you are running an existing business or thinking of starting a new business you can find all of the information you need throughout this business section.

Education

West Virginia is fortunate to have a tremendous education system with a high standard of excellence. Please use the information provided here to learn more about the wealth of educational opportunities in our great state.

Employment

West Virginia is home to one of the finest workforces in the country based on our hard work and commitment to quality. Whether you are looking for new job opportunities, enhancing your job skills or researching future employment trends you can find all of the information you need throughout this employment section.

Family

West Virginia offers the perfect balance of a rural and urban setting that suits a variety of lifestyles. This is a state where you can go whitewater rafting in the morning, go to an art exhibit in the afternoon and attend a concert in the evening. Whether you just moved to the Mountain State or your family has been here since it was founded, you are part of our community.

Health

Maintaining proper health is vital to ensuring the highest quality of life possible. West Virginia strives to provide one of the best health care systems in the country that is affordable and available to all residents of the state. This section contains numerous resources to assist you in accessing the health care services provided in the state.

Tourism

Exhilarate in the lasting beauty and natural wonder scattered throughout West Virginia. From unmatched outdoor recreation to world-class resorts, breathtaking scenery and a variety of cultural and historic attractions, West Virginia is an ideal spot to plan your next adventure. Discover for yourself what makes West Virginia wild and wonderful.

 Tourism Adventure Media Advisory April 15-28

4/2/2013
“Our Civil War Heritage” – Escape to the Mountains 2013: now until April 30, Landes Arts Center, Petersburg
This is a huge and unique historical Civil War display and event with short seminars and discussions as well as displays by historians, educators, re-enactors, and collectors. The presentation will include a history of mapping during the Civil War--both commercial and actual hand drawn maps; a large display of pictures and portraits from glass plate negatives made 150 years ago; a discussion on the part railroads played in the war; a comprehensive history of ships including the Monitors, ironclads, and a submarine; the amazing history of balloons in the war; a display of currency and stamps from the CSA, a wonderful display of first day covers and stamps from the 100-year anniversary, as well as today; a display of the history of Lincoln, his four children, and wife; newspapers, documents, telegrams, and letters of famous Civil War events will be displayed including Lee’s handwritten surrender and a general order to his troops to surrender. See and discover the history of both the Emancipation Proclamation and Gettysburg Address; the display of medical activities; living history events and much more. For more information, contact Albert C. Mach II at 304-749-8757, visit https://www.sites.google.com/site/escapetothemountains2013/activities or email
escapetothemountains@hotmail.com.  

Oglebay Institute's "Crosscurrents" Art Exhibit: now until May 3, Stifel Fine Arts Center, Wheeling
This juried show featuring work in a variety of media by regional artists opens at 6:30 p.m. on March 7 with a public reception at Stifel Fine Arts Center. Admission is free. The exhibit continues through May 3. All events are subject to change. Please call 304-242-7700 or visit http://www.oionline.com for more information.

Liberty on the Border: A Civil War Exhibition: now until Aug. 25, The Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia, Beckley
“Liberty on the Border” focuses on the relationship between the states along the Ohio River. Its many educational elements provide new insights into the events leading up to the war, the war years, and the “politics of memory” that has occurred from post-war to modern day. The exhibit is unique from other Civil War exhibits because it has a regional focus. The strong focus on non-military events and civilian contributions put the causes, effects and meaning of the war in more personal terms. Visitors will learn the surprising role that women and children played in the war. The exhibit includes over 300 artifacts, archival documents, lithographs and photographs. It also contains a multitude of interactive elements and computer interactivities. There are historic military artifacts that Civil War buffs will love to see including: an original Sharp’s carbine, the Colt pistol and pike from John Brown’s raid, a Confederate battle flag, the jacket and cap of Private Silas Buck referred to in Ken Burn’s Civil War, plus other artifacts on loan from the Smithsonian and other museums. Contact Leslie Baker at 304-252-3730 or email info@beckleymine.com or visit http://www.beckley.org/exhibition_coal_mine/index.html for additional information.

West Virginia 150: now until Dec. 31, The West Virginia State Museum, West Virginia Culture Center, Charleston
West Virginia 150, a special sesquicentennial exhibit commemorating West Virginia’s 150th birthday, focuses on more than 150 people, places and events that helped to shape the lives of West Virginians over the past 150 years. The exhibit features West Virginia’s national and international accomplishments and achievements since the state’s birth on June 20, 1863. Hundreds of artifacts tell stories about the state’s steel, coal, glass, timber and railroad industries as well as such notable West Virginians as Nobel Prize-winning author Pearl S. Buck, pepperoni roll inventor Giuseppe Argiro, award-winning composer George Crumb and former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. The Wheeling Jamboree, Mountain Stage, Mister Bee Potato Chips, Shoney’s and the Marble King Company are also featured. Admission is free. The West Virginia Culture Center hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The State Museum, which is also free, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

6th Annual Shanty Boat Night at the River Museum: April 19, Main Street, Point Pleasant
This year’s theme is music of the 30s, 40s and 50s. Bingo will be played and prizes will be given for each game. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. and consists of homemade beef stew, coleslaw, cornbread, dessert, and coffee or tea. During the dinner, featured entertainer Joey Wilcoxon will treat guests to music from the 30s, 40s and 50s. Tickets to the event are $25 and are available at the river museum. For more information, visit http://www.pprivermuseum.com or call 304-674-0144 to purchase tickets.

Sweet Chariot: A Theater IV Production: April 19, Raleigh Playhouse and Theater, Beckley
The talented singer/actors of Sweet Chariot tell the true story of slavery by combining dazzling a capella spirituals with oral histories of 70, 80 and 90 year-old former slaves who were interviewed during the Federal Writers Project of the 1930’s. Their first-hand accounts of the joys and agonies of everyday life, and their efforts to escape to freedom across the Ohio River, bring new understanding to all students of all backgrounds. Performance time is 7 p.m. Contact Leslie Gray Baker at 304-252-3730 or email info@beckleymine.com for more information.

10th Annual New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend: April 19-21, various Locations in New River Gorge National River Area
Are you ready for spring? Celebrate the glories of Appalachian spring from the rim of the gorge to the river at the 10th Annual New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend! Explore the area's natural diversity at programs in New River Gorge National River, Babcock State Park, Hawks Nest State Park, Little Beaver State Park, Pipestem Resort State Park, and Tamarack. All programs are free! Bring water and wear sturdy hiking shoes for guided walks. Snacks, binoculars, a hand lens, and a favorite field guide are also useful. For more information, call 304-574-2115 or visit http://www.nps.gov/neri/planyourvisit/wildflower-weekend.htm.

Uniquely West Virginia Wine and Food Festival: April 19-21, Old Factory Antique Mall and various locations throughout Berkeley Springs
The show offers a free opportunity for the public to sample and buy dozens of state-grown products including more than 50 vintages from nine wineries, as well as meet the faces behind these products. Located at the north end of the Old Factory Antique Mall, more than 75 antique vendors extend festival shopping further. Berkeley Springs Farmers Market vendors are also bringing a range of locally grown edibles and plants including greens, dairy products, honey, and from Mocks’ Greenhouses--hydroponic lettuce. Other food producers offer chocolates, mustards and sauces. For additional information, call 800-447-8797 or visit http://www.berkeleysprings.com.

2nd Annual Wild Edibles Festival: April 20, Hillsboro Public Library, Hillsboro
Experience the nourishing botanic biodiversity of the region. Local naturalists lead a walk to identify wild edibles. Dr. Rebecca Linger, from the University of Charleston, will lecture on folk remedies and wild edibles. Additional activities and attractions include vendors, identification tables, door prizes, optional lunch at Pretty Penny Café and a pot luck supper. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 304-653-4936 or 304-799-4766 or visit http://www.pocahontaslibrary.org for more information.

75th Annual Feast of the Ramson: April 20, Richwood High School, Richwood
The 75th Annual Feast of the Ramson celebration includes a ramp dinner, art and craft show, ramp recipe contest, live entertainment and cloggers. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $13 for adults and $6 for children under 12. Prices at the door are $15 for adults and $7 for children. For more information or to order advance tickets, call 304-846-6790 or visit http://www.richwoodchamberofcommerce.org/Feast-of-the-Ramson.html.

2013 Osbra Eye Memorial Walk: April 20, Kanawha State Forest, Charleston
Come join us for the sights and sounds of the natural world! Choose from a variety of guided walks including wildflowers, medicinal/edible plants, trees, beginning and advanced birding, photography, etc. Be sure to bring a camera and binoculars! Registration is 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the swimming pool area of Kanawha State Forest. Walks are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. There will also be door prizes, a hot dog sale and a raffle. The cost is $5 for adults and $2 age 16 and under. For more information, visit http://www.kanawhastateforest.com/events.html or call Kanawha State Forest at 304-558-3500.

A New Star in the Union – Abraham Lincoln and West Virginia Statehood: April 20, West Virginia Independence Hall, Wheeling
Beginning at 1 p.m., the Allegro Dance Company in Wheeling will perform “President Lincoln – Life and Legacy through Dance.” This performance includes three interpretive dance pieces set to music that consist of Mary Todd Lincoln’s reflections, Emancipation and the American people. At 2 p.m., Fritz Klein (portraying Abraham Lincoln) presents a living history program to commemorate the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s issuing of the West Virginia statehood proclamation on April 20, 1863. Call 304-238-1300 or email travis.l.henline@wv.gov for more information.

Scottish and Celtic Heritage Festival: April 20, Parkersburg City Park Pavilion, Parkersburg
The festival will feature Scottish and Irish dancing and music, a Celtic storyteller, children’s games and crafts, bagpipes, Pot of Gold treasure hunt, vendors, Scottish/Irish wares and food, artisans, history, genealogy assistance, and a replica William Wallace sword for raffle. Tickets are $5 for adults and children age 12 and under are free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit http://sites.google.com/site/scottishcelticheritagefestival or email spooky2009@aol.com or scotandceltfest@att.net for more information.

Wild Warrior Challenge: April 20, Mylan Park, Morgantown
The Wild Warrior Challenge is an exciting fun-filled 5K mud crawling obstacle course designed to unleash your sense of adventure. The course is inspired by National Guard training courses and designed by the WVU Army ROTC. The race is open to individuals and teams. The first group of competitors is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. For additional information, visit http://wildwarriorchallenge.com// or call 304-292-5081.

Annual Sue Browning Wildflower Hike: April 20-21, Chief Logan State Park, Logan
The Logan County Garden Club hosts the 30th Annual Sue Browning Wildflower Hike through gorgeous Chief Logan State Park. The hike provides nature lovers with a great opportunity to observe our region's wildflowers including bluebells, Dutchman's breeches, celandine-poppy, and redbud trees among others. Hikers will meet at the Museum in the Park for registration and sign-in beginning at 9 a.m. Registration is available at the door for adults and children. Coffee and breakfast pastries will also be available. For early registration, please contact the Museum in the Park at 304-792-7229. Because this event takes place outside, it is recommended you bring rain gear (just in case) and comfortable walking shoes. Hours are 9 a.m. to noon. Visit http://www.chiefloganstatepark.com for more information.

Annual Spring Bird Walk: April 20 and 27, Pricketts Fort State Park, Fairmont
Beginning at 8 a.m., come celebrate the joys of spring with a Saturday morning bird walk. Staff of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources will lead the public on this annual rite of passage. Wear sturdy walking shoes and bring binoculars if you have them. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call Pricketts Fort State Park at 304-363-3030 or visit http://www.prickettsfortstatepark.com or email prickettsfortsp@wv.gov

21st Annual Spring Mountain Festival: April 26-28, Petersburg City Park, Petersburg
Most of the events are held in and around the City Park. Admission to the festival grounds is free and features fabulous entertainment from the festival stage, arts and craft vendors with a variety of interesting and useful creations and novelty items, rides, games, food vendors, flea market, civil war train rides, and much more. There's an antique car, truck, and tractor show with prizes for the winners, and a motorcycle show. The festival boasts a 10K run, 5K run and a family 5K walk along with a parade to start Saturday's activities. The Spring Mountain Festival has something for all ages and you won't want to miss the excitement! For the complete schedule and more information, call 304-257-2722 or visit http://gowv.com/scheduleofevents.htm.

Show-Me-Hike: April 26-27, Greenbrier State Forest, Caldwell
The annual Show-Me-Hike kicks off on Friday evening with a program. Hikes are scheduled on Saturday departing at approximately 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Visit http://www.greenbriersf.com or call the Greenbrier State Forest at 304-536-1944 for additional information.

Civil War Train Rides: April 27, South Side Depot, Petersburg
Get your tickets now for this wonderful train ride in history through the foothills of the Potomac Valley. While on the train, Civil War reeanactors will be telling stories of the Civil War- from the hard times of war to the times of fellowship. Arrive early and listen to live music while browsing our store for WV made crafts, foods and wines. It’s a great time to learn a bit of history, enjoy great food and wonderful family experiences! Departure times are 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 304-257-9264 or visit http://www.southsidedepot.com.

Earth Day 5K and 1-mile Fun Walk: April 27, Cacapon Resort State Park, Berkeley Springs
What kind of footprint will you leave on Earth? This event encourages healthy lifestyles as well as a healthy environment. Environmental friendly activities include a stream assessment and making your own recycled bird feeder. Visit http://www.cacaponresort.com or email Renee.M.Fincham@wv.gov or call 204-258-1022 ext. 5209 for more information.

The History of West Virginia’s State Symbols: April 27, Culture Center, Charleston
The West Virginia State Museum invites you to Sesquicentennial programs about West Virginia’s 150-year history since becoming the 35th state in 1863. This event will feature artifacts from the state museum collection, videos and documentaries in the media room and hands-on projects. Limited edition commemorative coins will be distributed at each program. The session will be held in the West Virginia State Museum Education Center. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Contact the Cultural Center at 304-558-0220 for more information.

Ramps and Rails Festival: April 27, Elkins
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., local food vendors with scrumptious ramp dishes as well as craft and artisan vendors set up in the town square. Attendees will have the opportunity to cast a vote for their favorite ramp dish. Enjoy a one-hour train trip on the New Tygart Flyer in addition to a traditional ramp feast at the Rail Yard Restaurant. The train departs the depot at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Call 877-686-7245 or visit http://www.mountainrail.com for schedule, tickets and additional information.

58th Annual House and Garden Tours-Berkeley and Jefferson Counties: April 27-28, Various Locations
The House and Garden Tours of Historic Berkeley and Jefferson Counties, which began in 1955, have blossomed into a major annual event and tourist attraction. Docents from garden clubs throughout the region guide guests through these homes and gardens, describing the architecture, furnishings and plantings, as well as genealogical information or historical events that may have taken place on the grounds or within the walls. Club members also volunteer their time and talents by providing beautiful flower arrangements to decorate the homes. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Call 800-498-2386 or visit http://www.shenandoah-potomacgardencouncil.org for the schedule and additional information.

Irish Road Bowling-Steve Bolar Tournament Weekend: April 27-28, Pipestem Resort State Park, Pipestem
Irish bowling is an old Irish sport played by troops in West Virginia during the American Civil War. A 28-ounce iron and steel cannonball, the size of a tennis ball (a "bowl" or "bullet") is hurled down a country lane. The player or team with the fewest shots to the finish line wins. A magnificent view into the Bluestone River Gorge, Appalachian spring colors in southern West Virginia, and one of the state's very best road bowling roads, combine for an unforgettable weekend at Pipestem. The event is open to the public to participate or observe. A minimal fee may apply for participation in the tournament. Any age or ability can enjoy the sport from playing the game to simply walking with teams/players and spotting bowls. Visit http://www.pipestemresort.com or call 304-466-1800 or Kevin Smith with West Virginia Irish Road Bowling at 304-228-7928 for more information.

Contact Information

Jacqueline Proctor
304-957-9312
Jacqueline.A.Proctor@wv.gov