By Jonathan Williams
Times West Virginian
West Virginia has a birthday every year, and Fairmont celebrates it one way or another every time it comes around.
This year, the celebration has a name: the sesquicentennial, a long way of saying this year marks the state’s 150th birthday.
And in celebration of 150 years of statehood, Gena Wagaman and numerous volunteers have put together a party in downtown Fairmont.
“You’re only going to be 150 years old once,” Wagaman said, so it was important for her and other planners to come up with a fitting celebration for the once-in-a-lifetime event.
The party begins at 4 p.m. with an opening ceremony at Veterans’ Square. From there, celebrations spill out along Adams Street to Monroe Street.
On one side of the street, the Fairmont State University Fine Arts Summer Program will provide singers for open-air entertainment at Veterans’ Square at 4:15 p.m. They’ll be performing a variety of music, including songs from the university’s upcoming “Farmer’s Market: The Musical.”
On the other side at the same time, The Gatherings, located at 216 Monroe St., will be hosting an Afternoon Tea with the Pierponts, a ticketed event. Tickets are on sale for $5 at the Marion County Historical Society.
Between 5 and 6 p.m., people can come to Veterans’ Square to participate in a costume or beard contest. Beards will be judged for the fullest, longest, “best Lincoln” and most original.