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HUNTINGTON — A group of Westmoreland residents wished Huntington a happy 150th birthday on a Monday night.

The Westmoreland Neighborhood Association and the Westmoreland Woman’s Club held a Birthday Celebration in honor of the city’s sesquicentennial. Residents gathered to eat a picnic-style dinner at the woman’s club building.

Cindy Chandler, the neighbor association president, and Beverly Beldon, the woman’s club president, said the idea for the event came from Carole Boster, who is the vice president of the neighborhood association and is a member of the woman’s club. The event makes Westmoreland the first neighborhood to have a celebratory event for the sesquicentennial.

Chandler said the celebration gave neighbors a chance to come together for a positive event and celebrate their history.

“We’re all a part of Huntington. We are a part of the city,” Chandler said as to why celebrations like the Westmoreland event are important.

At the start of the dinner, Bryan Chambers, the city’s director of communications, spoke about more ways residents can be involved with the 150th Anniversary. Until Sept. 1, the 150th Anniversary Committee will accept submissions for a time capsule. The container will be sealed for a century and will be on display at City Hall.

“We want every neighborhood to be represented in the time capsule because Huntington is really like a fabric of many small neighborhoods woven into this quilt. And that’s what makes Huntington so great,” Chambers said.

During a public event on Oct. 22, the capsule will be closed. That date was chosen as it is Collis P. Huntington’s 200th birthday. The city was named after the railroad industrialist.

Chandler and Beldon said their groups are considering items to submit for the time capsule. The anniversary committee wants residents to submit Huntington-related essays, photos and item proposals. The committee will print accepted essays and photos on acid-free paper to prevent aging over time.

Email submissions to hwv150@huntingtonwv.gov. To see a full list of guidelines, visit cityofhuntington.com/huntington150.

Chambers said the committee encourages neighborhoods to host their own events or activities like Westmoreland’s Birthday Celebration.

“We encourage them to really take ownership of this and celebrate. That can mean different things for different neighborhoods,” Chambers said.

McKenna Horsley is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Follow her on Twitter @Mckennahorsley.

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