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 29 – May 12

4/18/2013
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 WV Culture Center hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The State Museum, which is also free, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the first Monday of each month. For more information, call 304-558-0220 or visit http://www.wvculture.org.

WV State Flatpick Guitar Championship: May 3-4, Camp Sheppard, Gandeeville
The West Virginia State Flatpick Guitar Championship Contest, hosted by Robin Kessinger Festival, will be held at Camp Sheppard in Gandeeville. Contestant registration fee is $10 per person. Several workshops will be offered at a cost of $50 for 2-hour sessions. General admission into the festival is $10 on Friday, $15 on Saturday or $20 for the weekend. There will be concessions and evening concerts both days. Free camping is available on a first come first serve basis. First prize winner will receive a Craig Southern Guitar, a full-festival ticket to the 2013 Walnut Valley Festival, and be a registered contestant for the national title at the 2013 Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. Second and third place prizes have yet to be determined. Visit http://www.robinkessingerfestival.org or call 304-593-5650 or 304-927-1415 for additional information.

12th Annual North Central WV Scottish Festival and Celtic Gathering: May 3-5, Bridgeport City Park, Bridgeport
This year’s festival has all the events, exhibitors and activities that you have come to expect. The Friday night Ceilidh will again be held at Via Veneto with plenty of room, lots of food and memorable Scottish entertainment. Saturday’s activities will include a EUSPBA-sanctioned solo bagpipe competition, FUSTA-sanctioned highland dancing competition and MASA-sanctioned heavy athletic competition. Additional activities and attractions include Scottish country dancing, handbells, heritage musicians, living history presentations, children’s activities, Scottish vendors, food, genealogy, Scottish society and clan representatives, Scottish dogs, sheep herding demonstrations, Shetland sheep, Highland cattle and more. There’ll be stage performances during the day by headline performers who will also appear in concert Saturday evening in the Bridgeport High School Auditorium. On Sunday, a special Scottish heritage church service and celebration will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Clarksburg. Visit http://www.scots-westvirginia.org or email daa223@juno.com or call 304-677-6425 for additional information.

Bird Banding Weekend: May 3-5, Tygart Lake State Park, Grafton
Experience our feathered friends up close and personal. Licensed Bird Bander, Joey Herron leads the weekend of birding. This event is great for experienced, novice or backyard birders. Special overnight packages are available. Call 304-265-6144 or visit http://www.tygartlakesp.com for more information.

Imboden Raid 150th Reenactment: May 3-5, Beverly
150 years ago, the Confederacy launched an ambitious raid into the western Virginia counties that wood soon become West Virginia. Come commemorate the Imboden Raid on Beverly with living history of an occupied town, reenactment skirmish of the raid, civilian social and sewing circle, camp dinner ($10), period church service, Civil War Ball and a small town welcome. For more information, call 304-637-7424 or visit http://www.beverlyheritagecenter.org or email info@beverlyheritagecenter.org.  

Spring Fest 9: May 3-5, Franklin
Come out and enjoy a weekend chocked full of fun for the entire family! Activities and attractions will include a trout rodeo, fish fry, music, dancing, box car derby, corn hole tournament, flea market, craft store, Wild Wonderful Wacky WV Parade, kiss-a-pig, wildlife show, 50/50 raffle, antique car show, food vendors and much more! Visit http://www.visitpendleton.com or call 304-358-3884 for additional information.

9th Annual Engines and Wheels Festival: May 4, North Bend State Park, Cairo
Discover the history behind “Turn of the Century” oil field, industrial and farm machinery and equipment. Local engine and wheels enthusiasts will be on hand displaying and demonstrating their knowledge of the equipment and the mechanisms that make them work. Additional attractions and activities include classic and antique cars, crafts and food vendors. Admission and activities are free. Hours are 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. For more information on the event or to bring engines and wheels, contact Fred Steed at 304-628-3396 or Clifford Deem at 304-643-4254. For information on becoming a vendor or for lodging, call North Bend State Park at 304-643-2931.

Spring Bird Count: May 4, Pipestem Resort State Park, Pipestem
Count songbirds and raptors at this annual birding activity in Pipestem State Park and the surrounding area. Various hikes will be featured. Contact 304-466-1800 ext. 344 for more information.

Annual Spring Bird Walk: May 4, 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 email prickettsfort@wv.gov or visit http://www.prickettsfortstatepark.com.

Heritage Farm and Museum Spring Festival: May 4, Huntington
Join in the fun and excitement as our entire village comes alive with all the museum exhibit buildings open for touring. Some activities and attractions include sawmill/shingle mill, broom and wood bucket shops; corn mill grinding, one room school house, blacksmith shop, washing machines, churns, irons and much more; the Pioneer and Trappers cabin’s, steam tractors, replica coal mine, glass blowing and much more! The Petting Zoo will be open. The Children’s Hands-On Museum will be open where kids can pump water, milk a cow, grind corn, play store and school, learn about bees, get their faces painted, and enjoy wagon rides (weather permitting). A new exhibit this year in the Barn Conference Center is an exhibition on steamboats and rivers. Mark Hall will have antiques available for purchase in our new Craft Building. There will be food for purchasing such as, hot dogs, barbecues, nachos, soup beans and cornbread, popcorn, ice cream and drinks. Entrance fee is $8 per adult and $6 for children ages 2-12. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit http://www.heritagefarmmuseum.com or call 304-522-1244 for additional information.

Cornstalk's Raid - 250th Commemoration History Alive: May 4, Kanawha State Forest, Charleston
The American Civil War brought about great changes to our Nation, not the least of which was the federal recognition and creation of West Virginia as the 35th state. In West Virginia, the year 2013 will be marked by numerous historical commemorative events highlighting the year 1863. Subsumed in the 150th birth year celebration is another anniversary of no less importance and perhaps with even greater impact on the future course of history in the region that one hundred years later became the Mountain State—that is the 250th anniversary of Shawnee Warrior Cornstalk’s Raid on the western Virginia colonial settlements in the Trans-Allegheny region. Cornstalk burst onto the scene of recorded history in 1763 when, against the British colony of Virginia, he conducted a military campaign that was arguably one of the most successful campaigns of Pontiac’s War. Visit http://www.kanawhastateforest.com or call Kanawha State Forest at 304-558-3500 for more information.

Irish Road Bowling: May 4, Kanawha State Forest, Charleston
Also known as Irish Long Bullets, this sport is for men and women of all ages from 9 to 90 and is extremely easy to learn while being highly competitive. It consists of a ball made of iron and steel that is heavy enough to pick up speed, yet small enough for any person to handle. Besides the basic rules and terms, all you do is hurl this 28 oz. sized "bowl" with an underhand motion over a 1 to 2 mile country road and see how far it goes! Scored like golf, the fewest number of shots from the start to the finish line wins. Team registration begins at 12:30 p.m. and bowling starts at 1 p.m. For additional information, visit http://www.kanawhastateforest.com or http://www.wvirishroadbowling.com or call 304-558-3500 or 304-638-3224.

Introduction to Mountain Biking Skills: May 4-5, North Bend State Park, Cairo
Join instructor Kim Coram and learn how to get started in mountain biking. Weekend courses will cover evaluating your current bicycle, selecting appropriate gear and trails, when to use your brakes, and when to change gears. Courses will consist of 4 separate classes packaged at $30 per person. Participation in all classes is not mandatory, but recommended. Call the park at 304-643-2931 for additional information.

Rendezvous on the River: May 8-11, Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, Parkersburg
Muzzleloader and mountain men gather on Blennerhassett Island for the spring rendezvous. Authentic campsites, demonstrations of camp life and period dress will be featured throughout the event. Call the park at 304-420-4800 for more information about time and ticket prices.

52nd Annual WV Wildflower Pilgrimage: May 9-12, Blackwater Falls, Davis
Professional and amateur botanists as well as bird watchers are among those in attendance from approximately 16 states and two foreign countries. Speakers, fascinating programs, and exhibits will be featured each evening. Specialists will be on hand from West Virginia University; West Virginia Division of Natural Resources; West Virginia Garden Club, Inc.; Brooks Bird Club and various colleges to help identify plants and birds, point out interesting flora and fauna, and answer questions. For additional information, visit http://www.blackwaterfalls.com or contact Emily Fleming or Wendy Greene at 304-558-2754.

19th Annual Bluegrass Festival: May 10-11, North Bend State Park, Cairo
This festival will get your toes tapping and your hands clapping! Bring your family and friends out for a fun-filled weekend of pickin’, pluckin’ and singin’! Bluegrass bands from throughout West Virginia, as well as from the surrounding region, will be performing. During the festival, shop the displays of local WV artisans or enjoy snacks such as grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, pulled pork sandwiches and drinks from the North Bend Outdoor Grill. For more information or reservations, call North Bend State Park at 304-643-2931 or visit http://www.northbendsp.com.

Wyoming County Civil War Days: May 10-12, Gilliland Park, Oceana
Wyoming County Civil War Days is a fun way to educate the public on Civil War history through the use of displays, living history and reenactments. Friday is Education Day and activities are closed to the public so students from around the county can experience the living history camp in an educational environment. Saturday’s activities and attractions include a Living History camp, activities for children, cannon, sutler, skirmish and more. On Sunday, there will be a period church service at 11 a.m. followed by a skirmish at 2 p.m. Hours on Friday are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Saturday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All activities are free and open to the public. For additional information, visit http://www.facebook.com/civilwardays or email Jim Cook at jimcook@jetbroadband.com or call 304-682-5096.

30th Annual Bramwell Spring Tour of Historic Homes: May 11, Bramwell
The Historic Town of Bramwell is celebrating its 125th Anniversary this year! Step back in time to visit coal baron homes of the 1890’s as costumed interpreters share stories of a bygone era. Tours are conducted rain or shine. Admission is $15 per person and tickets may be purchased the day of the tour at the Bramwell Presbyterian Church. Hours are 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Free parking is available. Call 304-248-8381 or 304-325-8438 or visit http://www.visitmercercounty.com for more information.

Bateaux on the Rivers—Highways of Trade 1812: May 11, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry
Step back in time to Harpers Ferry's early settlement when John Wager began his thriving boating business. Experience the town's early industry, trade, and transportation with the Park's Living History Staff and Volunteers, along with the Virginia Canals and Navigation Society. Special exhibits and demonstrations will include a Bateaux and Boatman's camp, Flintlock muskets, and rifles made at the Harpers Ferry U.S. Armory. Climb the historic stone steps to see John Wager’s family tavern, which was run by Basil Williamson, situated in the town’s oldest structure, the 1782 Harper House. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit http://www.nps.gov/hafe or call 304-535-6298 or 304-535-6029 for more information.

Migration Celebration: May 11, Little Beaver State Park, Beaver
Join Three Rivers Avian Center at Little Beaver State Park for the Migration Celebration from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is a free event that includes a hike, nature programs, birds of prey presentation and information. A good family event geared to outdoor education and interests. Call 304-466-4683 or visit http://www.tracwv.org/ for additional information.

Spring Bird Walk: May 11, Watters Smith State Park, Lost Creek
Learn basic birding skills and search the parks landscape for migratory birds. Bring binoculars and wear sturdy hiking shoes. The walk begins at 8 a.m. from the Activity Building. For more information, call the park at 304-745-3081.

Contact Information

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