West Virginia Day celebrations are held throughout the state with various activities commemorating the 137th birthday of the founding of the Mountain State.
The Greater Clarksburg Associates and the City of Clarksburg are coordinating efforts for the West Virginia Birthday Celebration from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday on the Harrison County Courthouse Plaza.
It will feature the first annual Art Show with artwork on display at area businesses as well as the courthouse.
Ballots are located in Uptown Clarksburg businesses where the public can view art in various mediums and vote on their favorite.
"We discussed trying to add something each year. This year, the GCA committee members agreed upon an art show to have something in the merchants locations downtown. The response has been tremendous," said Gary Martin, president of the organization. "There will be awards for the first annual Peoples Choice Art Show."
Joan E. Ohl, member of the Governors Board and secretary of West Virginia Health and Human Resources, will deliver the keynote address at 11:30 a.m.
"The GCA is working with the city and Jeff Mikorski, director of Economic and Community Development. He invited Mrs. Ohl, who was able to accept our offer," Martin said.
Ohl will discuss the Department of Health and Human Resources as a community partner.
"She will talk about the impact of DHHS funds on the community as well as contributions to the community in all forms," said Ann Garcelon, spokesperson for Health and Human Resources.
"Mrs. Ohl will also discuss the need for the community to accept its role as a partner in moving recipients from welfare to work," said Garcelon.
Mikorski said the pride of West Virginia residents has been a driving factor in the success of celebrations across the state.
"It's important to celebrate a holiday that a lot of people take for granted. West Virginia has always been a proud state.
"At a state level, they recognize the significance of celebrating the state's birthday. It brings it out of the public sector and lets the residents get involved. We hope people will come down to celebrate with the GCA," Mikorski said.
There will also be entertainment, face painting and darts.
Free birthday cake and refreshments will be provided by the North Central District Woman's Clubs, which includes Clarksburg, Bridgeport, West Milford, Lost Creek, Nutter Fort, Shinnston, Nutter Fort and Stonewall Jackson Civic Club as well as the Bridgeport Junior Woman's Club.
The Clarksburg Woman's Club is coordinating the refreshments, said Dolores Stinespring, club chairman.
"The Greater Clarksburg Associates has asked the Woman's Clubs to assist with the celebration since its inception. We are a service club with dozens of community service projects each year. This is just one of the many things we do annually as a service to the community," Stinespring said.
All club presidents will send a representative with different kinds of cake and assist in serving those attending. The Clarksburg Club will furnish the official West Virginia Day birthday cake.
Most of the merchants participating are providing gift certificates, savings bonds and other items to be offered during the celebration.
Staff writer Darlene Taylor can be reached at 626-1439.