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A Taste of West Virginia

June 25, 2013 - Craig Howell
Any opportunity for West Virginians to showcase what we have to offer is a good thing in my book. That's why I think it's great to see a showcase of some of the great things from West Virginia taking place in our nation's capital. The evening of June 25, there will be a "Taste of West Virginia" offered to the public in the Hart Senate Office Building. In addition to celebrating the recent win of the pepperoni roll — invented in West Virginia — as part of the CQ Roll Call Taste of America contest, the free event will give residents of Washington, D.C., government officials and visitors from across the nation and around the world a glimpse of some of the products, businesses and opportunities available in the Mountain State. Many businesses have been invited to take part, and will be setting up food samplings, information booths and other displays. It is being sponsored by the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Some of those businesses include DiCarlo's Pizza from Wheeling, Mister Bee potato chips from Parkersburg, Ye Olde Alpha from Wheeling, Blackwater Brewing Co. of Davis, Mountain State Brewing Co. of Thomas, the Greenbrier, West Virginia Northern Community College, West Virginia University, Flying W Farms of Burlington, Green Glades Creamery of Terra Alta, Candlewyck Inn of Keyser, West Virginia Marketplace of Charleston, and Adventures on the Gorge from Lansing. The West Virginia Department of Tourism, West Virginia Living Magazine, Tamarack, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, the Glenville State College Veterans History Project and the West Virginia State Society also are set to take part, and the members of West Virginia's Congressional delegation will be in attendance. West Virginia has been a state for 150 years, and, unfortunately, there still are those who don't realize we exist. Many of those who do probably still don't know much about us, our towns, our businesses, our exports or what they may be able to experience while visiting. Many have heard of Fiesta Ware, for example, but how many know it is made in Newell, W.Va.? How many know about the white water rafting on the New River? How many know the Boy Scout National Jamboree will now take place in West Virginia? Do they know about some of our notable residents, like Chuck Yeager, John Corbett, Stephen Coonts, David Nutter, Nick Saban and Hal Greer? Hopefully, through the event planed in Washington, there will be those who learn a little more and are even inspired to visit. It's actually not a bad idea for every state. Maybe have a different state represented with a display at the Capitol each month, providing a taste of lobster from Maine, information on hiking through the forests of Washington state, fishing in Florida, our various national monuments, forests and parks. You never know what we can learn, what relationships can be created, or what can be gained by just sharing a little bit with each other.


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