CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s biggest liars and best bakers took home top prizes on Saturday, June 22, 2013, during West Virginia’s 150th birthday celebration at the state capitol.

The winners of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s Liars Contest, which is part of the Vandalia Gathering, were:

Biggest Liar (1st place and Goldenseal magazine’s Golden Shovel award) – Adam Booth, Shepherdstown
Bigger Liar (2nd place) – Gary Buchanan, Creston
Big Liar (3rd place) – Scott Hill, Ghent
Youth (age 15 and under, and Goldenseal magazine’s Golden Shovel award) – Jackson Sorrells, South Charleston

Winners of the Division’s Vandalia Gathering baking contests were:

Pound Cake (all ages)
1st place – Ella Hoffman, South Charleston

Cupcakes (all ages)
1st place – Ella Hoffman, South Charleston
2nd place – Cassandra Atkins, Charleston
3rd place – Judy Grigoraci, Charleston
Youth (age 15 and under, $25) – Chelsea Newcomer, Charleston

Maple Cookies (all ages)
1st place – Judy Grigoraci, Charleston
 2nd place – Ella Hoffman, South Charleston

In addition to the contests, the Vandalia Gathering component of the 150th birthday celebration included performances by some of this year’s winners in the mandolin, bluegrass and old-time banjo, flat-pick guitar, lap dulcimer and old-time fiddle contests. An outdoor dance stage also featured heritage and ethnic dancing,  traditional square dancing and  flatfoot and clogging dancing, while the Old-Time-for-Young-’Uns area provided a 4-H campfire experience for youth of all ages. More than 35 craft vendors filled the fountain area with such items as jewelry, pottery, books, plants and glassware.

The annual Vandalia Gathering is a free celebration of the traditional arts, music, dance, stories, crafts and foods of West Virginia. The Culture Center and State Capitol Complex grounds play host to this expanding family-style gathering each year on Memorial Day weekend. The unique blending of ethnic and cultural heritage combines an atmosphere as comfortable as a family reunion with the excitement of a state fair. The statewide folk festival, named for the proposed 14th colony, pays tribute to the state’s ethnic heritage through a variety of exhibitions and programs.

For more information, contact Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner and communications manager for the Division, at (304) 558-0220.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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