Patriotic Celebrations Continue

If you’re feeling West Virginia sesquicentennial celebration withdrawal, never fear: the Fourth of July occurs this week, and plenty of patriotic events are on tap throughout the Ohio Valley.

Plus, the upcoming month is filled with a plethora of special events, festivals and programs, as one will see by perusing the July Calendar of Events published in today’s Life section. Free concerts are offered nearly every day of the week, in one area community or another. Free summer reading programs, for both adults and children, are conducted at many area public libraries.

So, don’t mope; don’t whine; don’t say “there’s nothing to do.” Our area has plenty of things for folks to do. As the old song goes, it’s summertime and the livin’ is easy!

One of the final sesquicentennial week events in Wheeling was a free concert presented by the Blue-Gray Community Choir of Philippi at West Virginia Independence Hall Friday evening, June 21.

To put it plainly, the audience was “blown away” by the outstanding quality of this fine choir. Composed of men and women from Philippi and other parts of the state, the large choir is directed by a faculty member from Alderson-Broaddus College. The acoustics of West Virginia Independence Hall’s courtroom are fine for music, as demonstrated by the choir’s excellent performance.

The group sang well-known West Virginia songs and a wide range of Civil War-era selections representing both sides of the conflict. At the conclusion of the concert, WVIH site manager Travis Henline declared enthusiastically, “They’ll be back!” Speaking as an audience member, I can say that the future concert will be one not to miss.

On another sesquicentennial note, several descendants of people involved in the statehood movement attended the 150th birthday festivities in Wheeling Thursday, June 20.

As noted in last week’s Grapevine, Ted Beyer, great-great-grandson of Francis H. Pierpont, governor of the Restored Government of Virginia, traveled from Connecticut with his wife, Pat, for the celebration and the unveiling of the model of a proposed Pierpont statue.

Also on hand for the West Virginia Day noontime ceremony outside West Virginia Independence Hall was Wheeling resident Sally Wells Ezell, a descendant of West Virginia’s first governor, Arthur I. Boreman. Ezell remarked that her mother, the late Susan Ezell, would have been so pleased to see her ancestor portrayed in the celebration.