"I'm a school teacher in Hardy County in West by God Virginia, and that's why I'm here," Sisler said.
He remembers the Centennial celebration 50 years ago, but not many details.
"I was with my father," Sisler said. "I didn't have an appreciation for history at that age."
Aerianna McClanahan, 14, does have an appreciation for history at that age. She came from Mingo Central High School as part of the student ambassadors camp.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing all the different people from the different parts of the state gathering for our state's birthday," McClanahan said.
Ryan Young came from Shady Spring High School in Raleigh County. He was excited to see Tomblin speak and also for Thursday night's 3D movie and fireworks.
John Godbey of Sissonville was celebrating two birthdays on Thursday, West Virginia's 150th and his own 79th.
"We're here celebrating West Virginia today," he said, before his wife pointed out his modesty.
"It's his birthday today too," Marguerite Godbey said. "I can't remember if we were here for the celebration in 1963, but we were certainly around for it."
Lois Carper was born in Wheeling, where her whole family had lived for decades, but has lived in Kanawha City for 60 years. One of her ancestors fought and was wounded in the Civil War
"I had a great-grandfather, his name was Pelley and he was in the Northern Army," Carper said. "I didn't know that he was in the Union Army until they told me as a little girl. He carried a bullet in his head right here the rest of his life and he lived all that time."
Reach Lydia Nuzum at lydia.nu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5100.
Reach David Gutman at david.gut...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5119.