Lions to Throw 150th W.Va. Birthday Bash

The Warwood Lions Club plans to host a 150th anniversary celebration of West Virginia’s statehood and is seeking residents’ help to make it a success.

Lion Barbara Baker said planning meetings will be held at 7 p.m. the first Monday of each month at Corpus Christi School, 1508 Warwood Ave., Wheeling. The first meeting is slated for this coming Monday.

The celebration is expected to take place June 22 in Warwood’s Garden Park. It will kick off with a parade at 10 a.m. and an opening ceremony at noon.

In addition to musical entertainment, Baker said the Lions aim to have people portray historical figures important to West Virginia’s creation. There will also be booths set up selling crafts, food, baked goods, displays and demonstrations. Games will include sack races, a three-legged race, cake walk, pie-eating contest, marble shooting, hoop stick relay and more.

”We hope organizations, churches and individuals that would like to have a booth and sell foods, crafts, baked items or demonstrate skills that were used 150 years ago come to the meeting to get more information. The money that you make will go to your organization,” Baker said.

Baker served as chairwoman of the Bicentennial Festival, which celebrated the United States’ 200th birthday, in Warwood in 1976 when she was a member of the Junior Women’s Club. Her co-chairman for the 150th celebration is her husband, Glen Baker Jr.

”We had over 8,000 people come to that – it was fantastic. I hope this one will be, too,” she said of the 1976 event. ”People want to go to these things and be a part of history. … I think it is so interesting where our country is today. Our state was born out of the Civil War. It’s important to us, and history is interesting to most people.”

She said in 1976 people were enthusiastic about planning the event. When word spread a bicentennial was being planned ”everyone wanted to do something.”

Baker noted the Warwood Lions Club has been in operation for at least 45 years.

”My father was a Lion when I was a child. I remember they had a father-daughter dinner. … That was before women could be Lions,” she said.