Lonestar, Milsap to Perform at W.Va. 150th Party

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 6/4/13 @ 9:54 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Country music stars Lonestar and Ronnie Milsap will perform at the West Virginia Capitol during the state's sesquicentennial celebration.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said Tuesday that the concert will be held June 22 on the Capitol steps. Milsap is scheduled to perform at 6:30 p.m., followed by Lonestar.

West Virginia artists Lady D, the Davisson Brothers Band, Vern's Pot O'Chili and Christian Lopez and his trio Joe Taxi also will perform on the Capitol steps on June 22 beginning at 11 a.m.

The celebration begins June 20, the 150th anniversary of West Virginia achieving statehood, and concludes June 23. Other activities include a chili cook-off, a vintage car show, the Vandalia Gathering, fireworks and a 3-D movie projected onto the Capitol's steps and columns.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia is getting a lasting tribute for its 150th birthday, courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service.

A new Forever stamp will debut June 20 as part of West Virginia's sesquicentennial celebration.

The image is unmistakably Mountain State: tree-shrouded hills stretch off to the horizon, fringed by morning mists.

Photographer Roger Spencer captured the shot in Pocahontas County. The West Virginia native says the Postal Service approached him about using the image after seeing it online.

"This image," Spencer said, "evokes the serenity one feels when standing atop one of our mountains, breathing in the clean, refreshing, mountain air of a cool October morning, and viewing the landscape bathed in the surreal glow of the misty, early morning light." Spencer adds that for many West Virginians, a breathtaking panoramic view truly exemplifies their home state. "Any image representing West Virginia must include our beloved mountains, from which our state gets its nickname, 'The Mountain State,'" he explains. "Our state slogan, 'Wild and Wonderful,' is also embodied in this image of our rugged mountains and valleys."

Spencer readily agreed. He says the mountains are West Virginia's defining characteristic and the image casts the state in a positive light.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and a Postal Service executive will dedicate the stamp at a state Capitol ceremony. A commemorative sesquicentennial coin debuted May 20 and sold out within 12 hours.

"I'm very excited about this new stamp celebrating our state's sesquicentennial. The stamp is a beautiful depiction of our majestic mountains and forests---a little slice of 'Almost Heaven.' I can't think of a better way to mark West Virginia's 150th birthday," Gov. Tomblin said. "This is a momentous occasion for our state, and I'm honored that the Postal Service has partnered with us to commemorate it."

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