West Virginia Day is being celebrated this coming week, and Governor Jim Justice and state Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby are encouraging West Virginians and those who love the state to celebrate and help build tourism on social media.
"It’s time to celebrate America’s best-kept secret with seven days of wall-to-wall West Virginia on social media,” Ruby enthused.
“We’ve had some smash-hit social campaigns the last few years using the hashtag AlmostHeaven,” she said, and to encourage participation, the tourism office will give away activity passes and vacations daily.
Prizes will include several grand vacation packages for folks who participate in the campaign all week long, Ruby said.
To participate, social media users are asked to follow along with the themes each day and publicly post their photos and memories on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #AlmostHeaven. The weeklong challenge is made up of specific daily themes.
- Fri., June 14: Share a fond memory of #AlmostHeaven
- Sat., June 15: What’s the best #AlmostHeaven scenic view.
- Sun., June 16: Post a photo of your favorite #AlmostHeaven season.
- Mon., June 17: Tell us your favorite #AlmostHeaven adventure.
- Tues., June 18: Share your favorite #AlmostHeaven place to escape.
- Wed., June 19: Post your favorite #AlmostHeaven waterfall.
- Thurs., June 20: Happy Birthday, West Virginia! Tag a friend you’d like to visit #AlmostHeaven.
Tourism attractions around the state have donated vacations as giveaways for lucky participants, Ruby said.
West Virginia Day, a state holiday, celebrates the date in 1863 during the American Civil War when West Virginia seceded from Virginia to rejoin the Union.
The holiday has become an occasion to highlight the state’s many attractions, from scenic views to local brews, from whitewater rapids to snowcapped slopes.
The governor has long stressed the value of West Virginia as a vacation destination.
“I’ve been saying for years that we have got to tell our story,” Justice said.
“We live in the most beautiful place in the world. Why on earth would you want to go anywhere else? We’ve got it all right here, and we’ve got to do a better job of telling people about everything wonderful in West Virginia.”
Tourism represents a $4.3 billion industry in West Virginia, generating $519 million in state and local taxes and supporting more than 45,000 jobs for hardworking West Virginians.
Ruby said this year’s social challenge also includes a way for West Virginia businesses to get in on the celebration.
Businesses can show their love of the state and local communities by participating from their official social channels and encouraging employees to participate.
Participating businesses will be featured on the Tourism Office’s website and can register as official participants and download a toolkit at WVTourism.com/WVDay.
To be eligible for the daily giveaways, individual participants must set their challenge posts to public and enter to win on WVTourism.com/WVDay.
Participants who publicly post and enter online all seven days of the challenge will be eligible to win the grand vacation prizes on West Virginia Day.