Man celebrates West Virginia’s birthday after life-changing experience

West Virginia

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – A birthday only comes around once a year and one man has been celebrating West Virginia’s birthday for quite some time.

While residents in Huntington gave their best guess at how old the Mountain State is this year, many may not know it quite as well as Clarksburg resident Wayne Worth.

Worth knows the exact date as June 20th and the years of statehood as 158. As per an annual tradition, he travels to Huntington to celebrate.

For 16 years, on June 20th, Worth has been setting up on the corner of 8th Street and 5th Avenue in downtown Huntington celebrating another year since West Virginia became a state.

Worth says the reason he started this tradition was because West Virginia was the place he found his forever home.

I was adopted here when I was 11 years old. The reason why I do this… I found family, community, and opportunity through my adoption.

Wayne Worth, Clarksburg resident

Before coming to the Mountain State, Worth was in and out of foster care and group homes in Connecticut. He says coming to West Virginia changed his life and giving a little bit back to his “home” state is well worth the drive.

Worth also says as long as he’s able to make the trip, he’ll be back waving and smiling as drivers join him in wishing West Virginia a happy birthday.

As long as I’m physically and mentally able. I will always be right here every June 20th on the corner of 5th Avenue and 8th Street until I’m no longer physically able to do it.

Wayne Worth, Clarksburg resident

A huge card was set up outside of the Cabell County Courthouse all day on Sunday encouraging drivers to honk and wave went they passed by.

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