CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will commemorate West Virginia Day with festivities at the Culture Center in Charleston and Independence Hall in Wheeling on Friday, June 20. Both locations’ events are free and open to the public.

The Culture Center will host a birthday celebration beginning with educational activities at 10 a.m. in the Education Center. At 11 a.m. author Billy Joe Peyton will speak in the Great Hall on historic Charleston. Following his speech, he will sign copies of his new book, Historic Charleston, which will be available for purchase in the gift shop. At noon, the state’s birthday cake will be cut and served in the Great Hall. A new museum exhibit and video entitled 150 in 3-D: A Century and a Half of West Virginia Pride will officially be open for visitors to see inside the State Museum. There will be cutouts of West Virginia state symbols for photo opportunities, a large state birthday card for visitors to sign and music.

West Virginia Independence Hall, located in downtown Wheeling, will have its annual celebration with Civil War re-enactors on site giving demonstrations and tours of the building with historic characters throughout the day. At noon, there will be a commemoration ceremony in the historic courtroom, followed by birthday cake and refreshments at 12:30 p.m. Beginning at 1 p.m., the Heritage Dance Association will present dances of the Civil War period and chances for audience participation.

For more information about activities at the Culture Center, contact Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner, at (304) 558-0220. For more information about events at West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling, contact Travis Henline, site manager, at (304) 238-1300.

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.