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Schedule of sesquicentennial events at Capitol Complex

By Staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The state Capitol Complex will host a variety of activities celebrating the state's 150th birthday in a four-day celebration beginning Thursday.

A giant birthday cake will be served in the Culture Center for three days. A detailed replica of the Capitol, 8 feet long, more than 3 feet tall, uses nearly 900 pounds of fondant icing and will serve approximately 15,000. David and Darren Husband made the underlying structure, while Sara Lane took on the baking and icing.

With the exception of most showings of "The Civil War," all events are free. Visit wv150.com for more information on these activities and others around the state.

THURSDAY

The festivities kick off with a bell ringing and sesquicentennial ceremony at 1:50 p.m. on the Capitol steps. Immediately following that, the cake will be cut.

A free performance of the Charleston Light Opera Guild's "The Civil War," with an appearance by David Selby as Abraham Lincoln, begins at 4 p.m. in the Culture Center Theater. The play is a musical drama telling the story of the war through songs from Union, Confederate and slave viewpoints.

Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning at 2:30 p.m. in the Culture Center lobby.

A West Virginia-themed concert with the West Virginia Symphony and the Appalachian Children's Chorus starts at 7:30 p.m. on the Capitol steps. Selby will join the symphony to narrate Aaron Copeland's "A Lincoln Portrait."

At 10 p.m., the film "150 in 3-D: A Century and a Half of West Virginia Pride" will debut, broadcast on the side of the Capitol. A brisk six minutes, it features notable West Virginia events, people, icons and elements from the state's history through today.

Watch from the Capitol steps. Fireworks follow.

FRIDAY

The Light Opera Guild stages "The Civil War" at 7 p.m. in the Culture Center Theater. Tickets are $20; seating is first-come, first-serve.

At 10 p.m., "150 in 3-D: A Century and a Half of WV Pride" will screen on the Capitol steps, followed by fireworks.

SATURDAY

Activities begin at 10 a.m.

Main events include live concerts, a cruise-in, Vandalia activities, the Smoke on the Water Chili Cook-Off and statehood lectures and character portrayals. There also will be children's activities, Civil War re-enactors, food and craft vendors and carriage rides on Kanawha Boulevard.

The day concludes with a final screening of "150 in 3-D: A Century and a Half of WV Pride" and fireworks at 10 p.m. on the Capitol steps.

A free trolley shuttle service runs 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. with two loops: the Civic Center to Greenbrier Street and Laidley Field to the Capitol Complex.

Vandalia activities

The music stage is set up at the North Plaza. Music runs 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The schedule is:

10 a.m.: Roger Bryant

10:30 a.m.: Dan Kessinger, 2013 mandolin winner

11 a.m.: Marteka Lake, 2013 bluegrass banjo winner

11:30 a.m.: Bryant Underwood, 2013 youth flat pick guitar winner

11:45 a.m.: Tim Bing, 2013 old-time banjo winner

12:15 p.m.: Jim Mullins, 2013 senior old-time fiddle winner

1 p.m.: Full Moon Boys Band

1:45 p.m.: Martha Turley, 2013 lap dulcimer winner

2:30 p.m.: Jim Mullins, 2013 senior old-time banjo winner

3 p.m.: Lydia Hager, 2013 youth fiddle winner

3:15 p.m.: Adam Hager, 2013 flat pick guitar winner

3:45 p.m.: Dan Kessinger, 2013 fiddle winner

4:30 p.m.: Gospel concert with Josh Holstein, the United Gospel Singers, Bare Bones and Flying Colors

Both the craft vendors circle and young'uns tent will be at the North Plaza, too.

The dance stage is in front of the Culture Center. Callers are Lou Maiuri and Bill Ohse, with heritage dancing music by Poteen, and square and open flat foot dancing music by the Mud Hole Control Band.

Heritage dancing is 10 a.m. to noon and 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Square and open flat foot dancing are 12:15 to 2:15 p.m. and 4:45 to 6:15 p.m. A cakewalk is at 6:15 p.m. with items from the food contests as prizes.

The Liars Contest and food competitions will be held in the Great Hall. Liars Contest registration is 11 a.m. to noon -- during which time the judges (Bill Hariston, Suzi Whaples and Rich Knoblich) will be telling stories -- with the contest and awards from noon to 2 p.m.

Food contest registration is 3 to 4 p.m. with the contest and awards from 4 to 6 p.m. Contests are for pound cake, cupcakes and maple cookies.

WV150 Music Stage

Featuring acts from around the state and an evening concert with national country music artists. Concerts held on the Capitol steps.

11 a.m.: Lady D, Beckley (soul, R&B)

Noon: Vern's Pot O' Chili, Lewisburg (reggae, funk)

1 p.m.: Christian Lopez & Joe Taxi, Martinsburg (Americana, folk)

2 p.m.: Davisson Brothers Band, Clarksburg (country, Southern rock)

6:30 p.m.: Lonestar and Ronnie Milsap (country)

Statehood activities

Takes place in the House Chambers.

10 a.m.: "Minorities' Contributions to West Virginia Statehood" by Dr. Carolyn Stewart

11 a.m.: "Senator Robert C. Byrd and the Brothers Kennedy: America's Longest Serving Senator's Encounters with America's Royal Family" by David Corbin

Noon: Mary Todd Lincoln portrayed by JoAnn Peterson

1 p.m.: "Wheeling, Charleston and West Virginia's Floating Capitol (placing the Capital where it will develop the natural resources of the state the most and accommodate the largest number of inhabitants)" by Billy Joe Peyton

2 p.m.: David Hunter Strother portrayed by Don Teter

3 p.m.: "Lincoln's Odd Trick: Heroes, Rascals and Rogues of West Virginia Statehood" by Hunter Lesser

4 p.m.: "No Ordinary Task: The Stout Hearts that Founded West Virginia" by Bryan Ward

Smoke on the Water Chili Cook-Off

The cook-off, held on Kanawha Boulevard in front of the Capitol steps, celebrates 15 years with a new event: the homestyle chili competition. That's in addition to the traditional red chili, green chili and salsa contests.

People's Choice sampling begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 2:30 p.m. Frozen T-shirt and hot pepper-eating contests take place at 3:30 p.m.

Winners will be announced at approximately 4:30 p.m.

Sesquicentennial Cruise-In

Hundreds of cars are expected and will be showcased on the Capitol grounds between California and Michigan avenues.

Registration begins at 10 a.m.; there is no entry fee. Awards will be given at 4 p.m.

SUNDAYThe Sesquicentennial celebration concludes with performances of "The Civil War" at 2 and 7 p.m. in the Culture Center Theater.


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