Celebrate West Virginia’s birthday downtown, just like the good old days.

Secession isn’t tried very often. Much less often, it succeeds. But 156 years ago, the discontented Trans-Allegheny part of Virginia took the opportunity of a national identity crisis to claim its own identity. And so West Virginia was born, the only state created by seceding from a Confederate state.

Morgantown used to celebrate West Virginia’s birthday downtown every June. There was food, art, music, and a huge birthday cake. That bash last took place in about 2004, as far as anyone can figure out.

But good-natured state birthday fun is back this year thanks to Main Street Morgantown and a host of partners.

Centered on the new courthouse square and spilling out onto High Street, 2019 festivities will include:

A kids’ tent with face painting, video games from Starport, birds of prey from the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia, and more;

An art tent featuring artist and designer Elisha Rush, Hoot and Howl, Indigo Visions, Morgantown Art Party, and the West Virginia Botanic Garden, sponsored by The Arts Collaborative at Arts Mon;

Refreshment tickets for dishes from booths by some of Morgantown’s most popular restaurants, including Iron Horse, Oliverio’s, Table 9, Tin 202, The Cupcakerie, and Zul’s Frozen Lemonade. Tickets also buy access to six West Virginia craft breweries— Morgantown favorites Chestnut Brew Works and Morgantown Brewing Company as well as Big Timber Brewing in Elkins, Short Story Brewing of Rivesville, and Stumptown Ales from Davis—and a booth by Swilled Dog Hard Cider in Upper Tract. A West Virginia birthday commemorative beer mug will be available.

_Live music by Ryan Cain and the Ables, Mike Pushkin and the Loyal Opposition, bands from the PopShop school of rock, and more;

Live painting on Chancery Row of an eye-catching mural designed by Morgantown artist Christian DeLeon, supported by a grant from Your Community Foundation;

A huge birthday cake supplied by West Virginia University.

Part of the proceeds from refreshment ticket sales will go toward future mural and public arts projects downtown. Many happy returns, West Virginia!