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 May 13-26

5/2/2013
72nd Annual West Virginia Strawberry Festival: May 15-19, Buckhannon
The festival is a unique, traditional celebration to promote the strawberry harvest. Enthusiastic volunteers provide good, family style entertainment that offers exciting educational and cultural events for everyone. Children and adults alike will enjoy the fun and thrills of the carnival. Take a stroll through the arts and craft exhibits, quilt show, photography show, or the souvenir shop. Enjoy the variety of Main Street and Courthouse entertainment or stop by the band competition, antique engine and tractor show, car show, strawberry auction, Irish Road Bowling, several parades, draft horse pull, canoe race, pet show, food vendors, or your favorite sporting event. You won't want to miss the huge block parties of entertainment on Main Street on Friday and Saturday nights. Come join us and you'll discover that there is no better way to begin your summer! Visit http://www.wvstrawberryfestival.com or call 304-472-9036 for more information.

10th Annual Siege of Fort Randolph: May 17-19, Krodel Park, Point Pleasant
The main event features the re-enactment of Chief Cornstalk's fateful visit to Fort Randolph in the fall of 1777, and the subsequent siege placed upon the fort in May of 1778. On Friday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the fort is open for school tours. On Friday evening, there will be a seminar designed for re-enactor development, and a rehearsal for those with speaking parts as well as interested participants. Saturday’s events include life skills demonstrations, Indian blanket trade, Magistrate Court, running of the gauntlet, and the drama/re-enactment at 2 p.m. for the public. Saturday evening there will be a fort feast, auction, and tavern entertainment. Sunday’s activities include a church service at 10 a.m., life skills demonstrations, and a trek among the hills. The Fort will be open to the public for life skills demonstrations. For more information, call 304-675-7933 or visit http://www.fortrandolph.org.

Spring Ballroom Dancing: May 17-19, Pipestem
This weekend will include two nights’ lodging at McKeever Lodge, dance lessons for the weekend, and dinner on Saturday evening for two. Instructors for the dance weekend are Sandi Elam, Alicia Elam and Stephen Prowse from Charleston, WV. The price for this package is $210.48 for single or $261.48 for two people. These prices include taxes and gratuity. A cash bar will be available on Friday and Saturday evenings. Call 304-466-1800 for reservations or visit http://www.pipestemresort.com for additional information.

"Civil War & Other Tales" WalkingTour of Mt. Wood Cemetery: May 19, Wheeling
Eleven costumed presenters will relate stories of their lives before and during the Civil War. Characters include Col. Joseph Thoburn, Col. Daniel Frost, Captain John McLure, Captain Samuel Kraus, Isabella Kelley (wife of Gen. B.F. Kelley), Mayor Alfred Caldwell, Marshall E.M. Norton, Sarah Wilson (wife and mother of Confederates), and George Loy (survivor of both Andersonville and the Sultana). Pre-war characters will be Noah Linsly (benefactor of Linsly School) and Dr. Simon Hullihen (the "Father of Oral Surgery"). On-site parking is not available. Visitors will depart from WV Independence Hall at 12 noon and will be transported to and from the cemetery for this free, 1.5- to 2-hour tour. Contact Jeanne Finstein at 304-242-0341 or email jfinstein@frontier.com for additional information.

Good Earth Garden Series—Seed Saving Workshop: May 19, Pearl S. Buck Birthplace, Hillsboro
Come join in this series of garden related workshops and experiences designed to teach the public about heritage gardening. This is part of the Calvin W. Price Appalachian Enrichment Series in celebration of life in Appalachia and the Sesquicentennial of West Virginia. The workshop begins at 2 p.m. For more information, Call 304-653-4430 or visit http://www.pocahontascountywv.com/calprice/calprice.aspx.

History Alive Harriet Tubman: Behind Enemy Lines by Ilene Evans: May 19, Pricketts Fort State Park, Fairmont
Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in Maryland, but escaped through the Underground Railroad in 1849. She became the most famous leader of that network, aiding slaves in their escape to free states and Canada. Harriet Tubman will be portrayed by Ilene Evans, a West Virginia theatrical artist and storyteller. The free performance begins at 2 p.m. and is open to the public. For additional information, call 304-363-3030 or visit http://www.prickettsfort.org.

29th Annual Cole Chevy Mountain Festival: May 21-27, Bluefield City Park, Bluefield
There is fun for the entire family at this event held every Memorial Day Weekend at the Bluefield City Park. Activities and attractions include the James H. Drew Carnival, Miss Cole Chevy Mountain Festival Pageant, The Marvelous Mutts, Rock-it the Robot, Chaz the Magician, auto show, Eudora Farms Petting Zoo, fireworks, vendors, and much more! Visit http://www.bluefieldchamber.com or call 304-327-7184 for more information.

Born of Rebellion: West Virginia Statehood Traveling Exhibit: May 22, Szilagyi Center, Rowlesburg
West Virginia Statehood is an award-winning traveling exhibit about the creation of the state of West Virginia. Born of Rebellion, created by the West Virginia Humanities Council, includes informational text, photos, maps, and images presented on lightweight, collapsible display frames. For additional information, call 304-346-8500 or visit http://www.wvhumanities.org.

West Virginia Three Rivers Festival: May 22-25, Fairmont
The Festival officially opens on May 23 with the start of the Grande Feature Parade followed by the Opening Ceremonies at Palatine Park in Downtown Fairmont. Following this are three days of fun-filled activities for the whole family. Please come and enjoy the live entertainment, carnival, parade, fantastic food and a gigantic fireworks display to finish it all off. Visit http://www.wvthreeriversfestival.org or call 304-363-2625 for more information.

Webster County Woodchopping Festival: May 22-26, Webster
The Webster County Woodchopping Festival offers something for everyone and is certain to provide lasting memories for all those that attend! Each Memorial Day weekend, the Southern U.S. World Championship Woodchopper title is won at the annual Webster County Woodchopping Festival in Webster Springs. The festival has grown out of a long timbering heritage from which has come some of the finest woodchoppers and lumbermen in the world. The choppers come from as near as the scenic mountains of Webster County and as far away as Australia and New Zealand to compete. Accompanying the woodchopping contest are many exciting events and attractions such as the sports weekend tournaments, car and truck shows, motorcycle show, West Virginia State Firemen's Rodeo Championship, the Grand Feature parade, arts and crafts shows, and the West Virginia State Turkey Calling Championship, food vendors, and live music concerts. The festival concludes on Sunday with a gospel sing and fireworks display. These events, just to name a few, are only a highlight of the weeklong events that occur. Visit http://www.woodchoppingfestival.org or call 304-847-7666 for more information.

Countdown to West Virginia Statehood: May 23, WV Independence Hall, Wheeling
Author Bob O’Connor offers a program detailing the growing historical grievances that eventually led to WV statehood. While most people are of the impression that WV became a state due to the opposition to Virginia's secession from the Union in 1861, in fact western Virginians had been discriminated against since 1776 by their eastern Virginia brethren. This program is offered as part of the 150th anniversary commemoration of WV statehood. Free and open to the public. A reception will follow the program. Call 304-238-1300 or email travis.l.henline@wv.gov or visit www.wvculture.org/museum/WVIHmod.html for additional information.

WV Dandelion Festival: May 23-27, White Sulphur Springs
This celebration is in appreciation of the dandelion. The dandelion is a gutsy little flower that fights its way through velvety lawns, dodges mowers and weed killers, and against all odds, reigns supreme as it blankets the village each spring. Activities and attractions include a wine and cheese reception, Riders for the Wall, art exhibit, art and craft vendors, food, kid’s activities, fishing derby, Superhero 5K, dunking booth, car show, pretty pet contest, veterans’ appreciation and memorial service, guest speakers, disc golf, gospel music, bluegrass music, country music, dance, parade, fireworks and much more. For more information, call 304-536-5060 or visit http://www.greenbrierwv.com.

50th year - Train Rides Begin: May 24, Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, Cass
Train rides begin on May 24 for Cass Railroad’s 2013 season. This year's schedule has new special runs, including Heisler/Old Spruce Run on May 25, double headers and more. Call Cass at 304-456-4300 or find rates, schedule and events at http://www.cassrailroad.com/CASS_schedule.pdf.

Free Outdoor Concert: 1937 Flood: May 24, Pricketts Fort State Park, Fairmont
Come join us for an evening of entertainment with West Virginia’s most eclectic string band, 1937 Flood. The performance includes assortments of jug band, old standards, fiddle music and more. The concert begins at 7 p.m. and is free to the public. Call 304-363-3030 or visit http://www.prickettsfort.org for more information.

The Greenbrier Ghost: May 24-25, Greenbrier Valley Theatre, Lewisburg
"The Greenbrier Ghost" is a musical telling of the famous local ghost legend of Zona Heaster Shue. After Zona's sudden death, her mother claimed that Zona's ghost appeared to her in the night, claiming that she had been murdered by her husband. A curious murder trial followed and Zona's husband became the only man ever convicted because of the testimony of a ghost! The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Visit http://www.gvtheatre.org or call 304-645-3838 or 866-888-1411 for additional information.

Sheep to Shawl: May 24-25, Pricketts Fort State Park, Fairmont
Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come watch how sheep are sheared and then see the various processes involved in preparing wool including carding, spinning and weaving. School tours are welcome on Friday. Regular admission applies. Visit http://www.prickettsfort.org or call 304-363-3030 for more information.

3rd Annual ArtSpring: May 24-26, Canaan Valley, Davis, Thomas and Parsons
Memorial Day Weekend 2013 marks the third annual celebration of ArtSpring—a High Mountain Arts Festival. Events are scheduled throughout Canaan Valley and the historic towns of Davis, Thomas, and Parsons. Visitors will enjoy mingling with artists of all kinds as they roam the charming towns and scenic areas of West Virginia’s high mountains. The streets will be alive with music throughout the weekend, with styles from Old Time String Band to Reso-phonic Stomp Rock. In between there will be Edgy Mountain Irish, Primitive Folk, Fingerpicking Blues, New Orleans Dixieland, Appalachian Fiddle Music, Grunge, and Classical Cello. The weekend will include artists at work, open studios, exhibitions, artful foods, sidewalk sales, and hands-on opportunities to find your own inner artist by making paper, bird masks, polymer beads, felt, kites, and other hands-on crafts—whether you’re young or old. A highlight of the weekend is the Silent Auction of Art & More at Cottrill’s Opera House in Thomas. For more information, visit http://www.artspringwv.com or call the Tucker County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at 800-782-2775.

6th Annual River City Festival of the Arts: May 24-26, Szilagyi Center/Old RHS and Multiple Locations, Rowlesburg
The very popular Annual River City Festival has an emphasis on music and theater. The majority of the events will be held in the Szilagyi Center. Soprano Cristina Nassif and Baritone Jamie Kotmair will perform favorite arias from various operas. Other featured performers and activities will include: Dr. Thomas J. Nassif, Lucas Tannous, Cristina Herrera de Nassif, De’Ja’Vu Oldies Band, The Wheeling Symphony Percussion Ensemble featuring Eliseo Rael and Players, Preston County Community Choir, 150 Year Civil War Tribute with Patty Cooper as Belle Boyd, dinner and silent auction, and “WV Statehood – 150 Year Rowlesburg Civil War Battle” performed by the Preston High Theater Ensemble, Steve French, Keynote Civil War Speaker, many various vendors and much more. Visit http://www.rowlesburg.org or call 304-329-1240 or 304-454-9232 for additional information.

37th Annual Vandalia Gathering: May 24-25, State Capitol Complex, Charleston
The Vandalia Gathering will take place on Friday, May 24, and Saturday, May 25, this year. The focus will be on music contests and concerts, annual juried quilt exhibition awards program and the presentation of the Vandalia Award. Musical competitions and concerts will fill the Culture Center Great Hall, Theater and Plaza Deck during the festival. Food vendors will be on hand to offer traditional favorites and new flavors that Vandalia attendees have come to enjoy. The weekend event will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday with the annual juried quilt awards presentation and the Vandalia Award ceremony. A concert will follow the awards program. Saturday’s activities will focus primarily on music from 10 a.m. through the evening as competitions and concerts take place throughout the day. For more information, call 304-558-0162 or visit http://www.wvculture.org.

East River Mountain Town Band - Amphitheater Show: May 25, Pipestem Resort State Park, Pipestem
Come and enjoy an evening outdoors while listening to live music performed by a community town band. Selections will include an eclectic mix of classical, popular and patriotic concert band music. This ensemble of 60-plus members is directed by Concord University graduate and retired Mercer County music teacher Mel Saunders. The show begins at 8 p.m. at the Pipestem Outdoor Amphitheater. Admission is free and open to the public. Come and enjoy a nice evening outdoors listening to live music. For additional information, call 304-466-1800 or visit http://www.pipestemresort.com.

Appalachian Street Jubilee: May 25, 4th Avenue, Marlinton
Join in for a hands-on festival of creativity, set to the tune of live traditional mountain music. The open-air event includes free make-and-take arts and craft activities designed for all ages; along with demonstrations by local artisans ranging from a blacksmith to a maker of wildflower teas. Capping off the day is a learn-as-you-go square dance. This is part of the Calvin W. Price Appalachian Enrichment Series in celebration of life in Appalachia and the Sesquicentennial of West Virginia. For additional information, visit http://www.pocahontascountywv.com or contact Janet Hunt at 304-799-2323.

Julia Pierpont Day: May 25, Veteran’s Square and Woodlawn Cemetery, Fairmont
Julia Pierpont of Fairmont is accredited with being an originator of the Nation’s Decoration Day (known today as Memorial Day). In May of 1866, the graves of the Union soldiers buried in Hollywood Cemetery were dismal and neglected. She, along with her following, decorated the graves and cleaned the cemetery. The morning begins with a breakfast program and heritage music, followed by the placement of Civil War markers on graves at Woodlawn Cemetery. There will be a Rendering of Honors at the Veteran’s Monument, placement of wreaths, and tours of the Cemetery and Historical Museum of Marion County. Visit http://www.marionhistorical.org or call 304-367-5398 for more information.

West Virginia Wine and Arts Festival: May 25-26, Martinsburg
This festival offers the best in West Virginia wines, artists from around the region, and a variety of tastes and fragrances. Additionally, it has attracted several well-known musicians that provide a unique variety of musical genres. For additional information, visit http://www.theartcentre.org or call 304-263-0224.

Berkeley Springs Studio Tour and Art Sale: May 25-27, Berkeley Springs
While touring scenic Morgan County, you can visit nationally and regionally known artists in their studios. You'll see contemporary and traditional art and fine crafts in many different media. The Artists will be demonstrating and describing the processes they use to create their work. For more information, call 304-258-1911 or visit http://www.berkeleyspringsstudiotour.org.

Memorial Day: "Whispers in the Wind": May 26-27, Pricketts Fort State Park, Fairmont
Hear the voices of those who lived and died on the frontier through a historically based performance written by Fairmont State University students under the direction of Dr. Fran Kirk. This original work will be performed by actors from Town and Gown Theatre Company. Attendees will begin by gathering at the park’s Visitor Center and will be guided on a walking path to the cemetery for the one-hour production. There will be seats provided in the cemetery, but walking is required. Tickets are $4 per person and seating is limited to 60 per show. Purchase tickets by calling 304-363-3030 or online at http://www.prickettsfort.org/shop. Performance time is 7 p.m. both evenings.

Contact Information

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