CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A bell-ringing ceremony has ushered in West Virginia's sesquicentennial celebration.
On the state Capitol steps in Charleston, a replica of the Liberty Bell rang 35 times to honor West Virginia's entrance as the 35th state 150 years ago Thursday.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said at the ceremony he hopes people will recall at the state's bicentennial celebration in 2063 how much fun they had at the sesquicentennial party.
At the nearby state Culture Center, visitors listened to folk music, bought West Virginia Forever stamps that debuted Thursday and attended the Charleston Light Opera Guild's free performance of the Broadway musical "Civil War."
Celebrations were held throughout the state. In Wheeling, the state's original capital, the building where the state's founding fathers met hosted re-enactments and a concert.