CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia is hosting the Southern Legislative Conference annual meeting for the first time in 15 years.
The four-day event kicks off Saturday in Charleston. It will include seminars for state policymakers to discuss looming changes to Medicaid, federal transportation funding, public retirement plans and unemployment benefits.
Organizers expect about 600 state lawmakers from 15 states, their staff members, other public officials and their families to attend the conference. It's taking place in West Virginia because House Speaker Rick Thompson is the group's chairman this year.
Actress and former Charleston resident Jennifer Garner will join Mark Kennedy Shriver in discussing their program Save the Children. Author Homer Hickam will speak as well.
Fireworks will be set off along Kanawha Boulevard Saturday evening at 9:30. During that time a section of the Boulevard will be closed to traffic.
On Sunday, the Davisson Brothers will perform at Haddad Riverfront Park at 8 p.m. Vendors will be selling food and drinks, including beer and wine, and the section of Kanawha Boulevard near Haddad Riverfront Park will be closed to traffic until after the concert ends at about 10 p.m.