Government, The Braxton Democrat

Legislative Update… By Lori Dittman WV House of Delegates 63rd District

Festival season in the 63rd District kicked off this past weekend with the 74th Annual West Virginia Folk Festival. Despite the hot weather, friends, families, neighbors, and visitors gathered to celebrate timeless melodies, spirited dances, and the rich heritage of our beloved state. I had the pleasure once again to celebrate with the Braxton County Folk Festival Belles at the Braxton County Senior Center and the current Folk Festival Belles and Junior Belles at a luncheon on Saturday. Special thanks to Woodyard Creations for making the personalized ornaments I gifted to each Belle. These extraordinary women embody the spirit of the Mountain State, carrying forward the traditions and resilience of our pioneer ancestors. Many volunteers work behind the scenes to orchestrate the festival. Thank you and well done everyone! Next on the festival calendar is the Bigfoot Festival at Holly Gray starting Thursday, June 27th through June 29th.
Festivals play a pivotal role in boosting local economies of small towns by increasing tourism and business opportunities for small vendors and entrepreneurs. Hosting festivals often leads to improvements in infrastructure benefiting both residents and visitors. Residents that actively participate foster civic pride and a sense of belonging creating a strong community identity. All this activity has a multiplier effect and breathes life into towns and creating stronger communities.
I had the pleasure of meeting with our local Farm Bureau Association and briefing them on legislation that passed from Agriculture and Natural Resources. As a reminder, I represent you, so if you have a change to an existing law or an idea for a law, please give me a call and we can discuss the next steps for your idea. I am continuing to meet with constituents and committees over Zoom, the phone,
or in person. Summer has given me more opportunities to research and plan for the upcoming session.
As I was driving through Flatwoods on Sunday, I noticed the newly installed exit lights were beaming down. Not only are the lights aesthetically pleasing, but they play a crucial role in enhancing travel experiences and local economies by safely guiding travelers off the exit. Illuminated exits signal nearby services: gas stations, restaurants, hotels, and convenience stores growing the hospitality and tourism industries.
Also, roads are getting paved, and brush and ditches are getting cleared around the District. Little by little improvements are being made. Every building front that has a fresh coat of paint, decorations in the window, and/or clear signage, is saying to the community, “Welcome, we are investing and open for business.”
Congratulations to the Gilmer County FFA Land Judging Team for qualifying for the State Competition in July. Keep up the hard work and dedication. You are going to do great!
Gov. Jim Justice recently revealed the 2024 Summer Bucket List curated by the West Virginia Department of Tourism. This list features iconic adventures in the Mountain State, including waterfalls and nature hikes. It serves as a guide for summer travel in West Virginia. Completing the bucket list and sharing photos on social media could even win a free four-night fall getaway for the person posting! I would like to start our own bucket list for the 63rd District, so share your adventures on social media with the hashtag #livingfree indistrict63.
“It’s not necessary to go far and wide. I mean, you can really find exciting and inspiring things within your hometown.” (Daryl Hannah)
It’s officially summer, so I hope everyone takes the time to enjoy the outdoors. Each day now, daylight hours decrease, so make the most of this time with your friends and family.
I look forward to hearing from people in the district and hope to see you out and about enjoying all the great things our area has to offer. I can be contacted at lori.dittman@ or 304-701-8600.