MORGANTOWN — A little bit of history, a lot of curiosity and a whole lot of fun.
Still commemorating the birth of West Virginia, the Mountaineer Country Museums is holding a weekend long celebration. The Celebrate West Virginia! Event started Thursday at Spark! Imagination and Science Center in Morgantown. The evening showcased live music and activities from different museums and sites within the community. The weekend allows for families to explore the hidden gems of rich historical value throughout Morgantown.
Jessica Eichlin from the WV History and Regional History Center located in the downtown WVU library said this is the second year that the Mountaineer Country Museums hosted this event. The activities included a scavenger hunt with W. Va. books on display and coloring activities.
“The parents get excited about it, too. The families I actually had come in today so far had really young kids where they couldn’t really do a scavenger hunt but I think the parents really enjoyed that as well,” she said.
Every year for West Virginia Day the History Center introduces a new exhibit. This year’s exhibit “Justice for All: Law and Lawyers in West Virginia” highlighted the career of Louis A. Johnson, a West Virginia lawyer and other interesting exhibits about the history of law in the state. Kids got to play a fun game of “eye spy” looking for different things on display.
In other explorations, patrons could check out the Watt’s Museum at the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. The museum features mining equipment, a staple in the culture and history of The Mountain State. Kids could come in, explore the exhibits and customize miner tags. Miner tags hung on boards outside of mines. While working, the miners would carry them on their person. In the event of an accident, the tags would display who was underground.
At the WVU Art Museum, kid had the chance to fill out a scavenger hunt based off of the exhibits. The Art Museum is featuring “Flowing Beyond Heaven and Earth: Chinese Master Ceramists” where scavenger hunters could pick out different animals in the art- such as tigers and cats. The museum features 3,000 pieces of art from all over the world, and features art of WVU alumni.
Among other stops Saturday, curious patrons could visit Arthurdale Heritage and The West Virginia Botanic Gardens. Sunday, tours of the Easton Roller Mill will be available from 2 to 5 p.m. to the public. Scavenger hunts will also be happening at the West Virginia Botanic Gardens from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. as well as the WVU Art Museum from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Participants should remember to bring their “Bingo card” that are available at the different participating sites. After visiting three or more they will be eligible for a 3-month membership to Spark! Imagination and Science Center.
Eichlin said she thinks the weekend celebration is great to raise awareness of all the little museums in the area with a lot of cool items. It’s a way to get people engaged and interested in their community. It brings in a lot of different interests and a lot of different disciplines. She said there are lots of people who might not like history or math or science- but with this weekend there’s something for everyone.
“It’s kind of nice for all of us to team up and host events in one weekend so if families want to get out and explore different sites in their area we all have events on the same three days,” she said.
“You can go from site to site and hit up a lot of these small places you hadn’t heard of before.”