Oglebay Park and Wheeling Park Hold Events for National Walk Day

Wheeling, WV, April 4, 2016– Wheeling Park Commission and the Oglebay Foundation, in partnership with Wheeling Hospital, will be celebrating National Walking Day on Wednesday, April 6 with scheduled walks at both Oglebay Park and Wheeling Park.

“As the region’s leader in cardiac care, Wheeling Hospital is proud to partner with Oglebay in support of its heart-healthy walks. Exercise can be an important part of a person’s overall health, especially when it comes to the heart. We sincerely hope area residents turn out for one of the walks being held this Wednesday,” said Gregg Warren, Wheeling Hospital vice president of marketing and public relations.

Walkers of all ages are invited to gather for 45-minute community walks at Oglebay Park at 7:30 AM, 12:00 PM and 5:30 PM. Each walk kicks off at the Oglebay Foundation Porch located on the Hilltop in Bissonnette Gardens. Wheeling Park walkers have a choice of 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM, with each walk starting at the Stone Building. Water and healthy snacks will be provided at both Parks.

“Walking is a great way to increase physical activity,” said Stephen Hilliard, president & CEO of Wheeling Park Commission. “We are surrounded by scenic trails and beautiful views right in our own backyard. National Walking Day serves as a catalyst for everyone to embrace fitness as part of a healthy lifestyle.”

As part of American Heart Association’s efforts to promote healthy living, National Walking Day was started in 2007. The first Wednesday in April kicks off a month-long celebration designed to help people become more active. On the day of the event, participants are encouraged to lace up their sneakers and take 30 minutes out of their day to get up and walk. Come join us and take a walk in the park.

For more information about the walks at Oglebay and Wheeling, please contact Mike Potts at 304-243-4131 or email at mpotts@oglebay-resort.com.OglebayWalkers_8139

5th Annual Wheeling Polka Festival at Oglebay

Wheeling Polka Festival at Oglebay

The Wheeling Polka Festival returns for a fifth year to Glessner Auditorium at Oglebay’s Wilson Lodge March 11-13, 2016. The festival features some of the region’s best polka bands including The New Brass Express, Stephanie – America’s Polka Sweetheart, and The Knewz. Daily tickets are now available or a 3-day pass is also available. A special overnight package is offered at Wilson Lodge that includes two night lodging, breakfast and admission to all three days of the festival.

The Wheeling Polka Festival will feature three days of great live polka music at Glessner Auditorium at Oglebay’s Wilson Lodge Friday, March 11 through Sunday, March 13, 2016. The festival kicks off at 8:00 p.m. on Friday with The Knewz performing until midnight.

Saturday’s performances run from 3:00 p.m. until midnight and will include The New Brass Express, Stephanie – America’s Polka Sweetheart, and The Knewz.

Saturday also includes a Rise & Shine Party with DJ Michael Biela from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 13 begins with a Roman Catholic Mass at 10:00 a.m. and from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m.  Ray Jay & The Carousels and the Polka Family Band will perform.

A three day pass to the Wheeling Polka Festival is $40.00 and includes admission to all polka bands.  Admission for Friday only is $12.00, Saturday is $17.00 and Sunday is $16.00. Special food and beverage options will be available for purchase during the festival.

A special overnight package is available at Wilson Lodge that includes Friday and Saturday night accommodations, breakfast and admission to all polka bands on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

For tickets and additional information on the Polka Festival call Oglebay Sales and Conference Services at 304-243-4060.  For overnight reservations call 800-624-6988 or visit our website at www.oglebay-resort.com

West Liberty University Announces Good Zoo Partnership and New Degree Program

West Liberty University & Good Zoo Partnership

West Liberty University President Stephen Greiner, left, and Wheeling Park Commission President and CEO Stephen Hilliard, announce a new partnership that offers students a dynamic new major. Graduates of the program will earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with a Zoo Science major and will be prepared to work in the field of accredited zoo and aquarium management.

Students interested in wildlife and science now have a new option at West Liberty University. In partnership with the Good Zoo at Oglebay, WLU’s College of Sciences has developed an innovative curriculum for zoo sciences.

“We are excited to partner with Oglebay Resort and work with its Good Zoo to offer students a dynamic new major. Now students interested in zoo careers will be able to learn from one of the best zoos in the region. We are grateful for the cooperation and work that went into making this new major a reality,” said WLU President Stephen Greiner at a 10 a.m. press conference held today at the Good Zoo.

Graduates of the new program will earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with a Zoo Science major and will be prepared to work in the field of accredited zoo and aquarium management.

“We are always pleased to work with West Liberty University to foster future talent and are especially excited about this opportunity to provide students with real-life projects. This program offers a fresh approach that will not only enhance the students’ educational experience but also benefit the Good Zoo visitors and staff,” said Wheeling Park Commission President and CEO Stephen Hilliard.

The Good Zoo at Oglebay Resort was dedicated in memory of seven-year-old Phillip Mayer Good in 1977 with a mission to educate visitors regarding natural and physical sciences and to promote conservation. The zoo has 70 species, more than 20 of them rare or endangered, and is West Virginia’s only AZA-accredited zoo.

“We are proud to host one of only four zoo science bachelor degree majors in the United States at West Liberty and to collaborate with one of the top zoological institutions in the country. Our partnership with the Good Zoo makes our major unique. Students in the program will be exposed to hands-on, applied learning opportunities by receiving training and working with zoo and conservation center professionals and participating in current wildlife conservation research,” said Dr. Joe Greathouse, assistant professor of biology.

Greathouse joined WLU this past August. He formerly worked for The Wilds, a private, non-profit safari park and conservation center and before that he was curator of animals at Good Zoo.

“This opportunity will make the learning environment for our students unlike anywhere else in the country,” said Dr. Zac Loughman, associate professor of biology and 2014 West Virginia Professor of the Year.

Loughman also maintains an internationally known crayfish research laboratory and both Greathouse and Loughman are co-directors of the new program.

Some of the hands-on opportunities include a 10-week summer internship between the sophomore and junior year of study at an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoo.

Students also must volunteer in animal labs at the university and, during the junior and senior year of study, they must complete two semesters interning at the Good Zoo.

“This is a unique major and we are very excited to offer it to our biology students. The field of zoo keepers, curators and other zoological professions is growing and West Liberty University’s College of Sciences is proud to be a part of it,” said Dean Dr. Robert Kreisberg, who leads the College of Sciences.

The College of Sciences includes the departments of Health Sciences, Natural Science and Mathematics and the Physician Assistant program.

For complete information on the new zoo science major, please visit westliberty.edu/zoosci or call Greathouse at 304-336-8865 or Loughman at 304-336-8923, or email the program at zoosci@westliberty.edu.

Oglebay Ski Area to Open

Oglebay Ski & Snowboard Area

A groomer at the Oglebay Ski & Snowboard Area prepares the slope for opening on Friday, January 8. For daily hours and conditions call the Oglebay ski hotline at 304-243-4177 or visit the Oglebay ski website at ski.oglebay-resort.com.

The Ski Area at Oglebay will open for the season on Friday, January 8, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. and remain open until 10:00 p.m. Regular hours are Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The Ski Area will also be open on Ohio County School closing days and on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and President’s Day from 12:00 to 9:00 p.m.  All hours are weather permitting. For daily hours and conditions call the Oglebay ski hotline at 304-243-4177 or visit the Oglebay ski website.

“We have been making snow for the past few days and snowmaking will continue as the weather allows,” said Rico Coville, Director of Ski and Golf at Oglebay.

Lift ticket rates for adults (age 18 & over) are: Friday $22.00; Saturday, Sunday and holidays $26.00. Child (ages 6 to 17) lift rates are: Friday $16.00: Saturday, Sunday and holidays $21.00. Children ages 5 and under ski free with a paid adult.

Season passes and Five and Ten Ski Passes are currently available at the Hamm Clubhouse at the Speidel Golf Club and Alpine Skis and Boards. The passes will be available after opening day at the Ski Area.

Skis, boots and snowboards, are available for rental at the Oglebay ski facility. All renters under age 18 will require a release to be signed by their parent, guardian or custodian.

“Oglebay is a great place to learn to ski or snowboard,” added Coville.  For ski and snowboard instruction information call 304-243-4049.

Good Zoo Announces New Meerkat Name & Winter Pre-School Programs

Meerkat born at Oglebay Good Zoo

The Good Zoo at Oglebay announced that the new meerkat born at the zoo on October 22 has been named Rafiki.

The Good Zoo at Oglebay announced today that the new meerkat born at the zoo on October 22 has been named Rafiki.  The zoo provided five names to vote on through Oglebay’s Facebook page and Rafiki received 63% of the votes.

“Rafiki, means ‘friend’ in Swahili, so I think it is a great name,” said Mindi White, Curator of Animals.   “We currently have four meerkats: Nala, Banga, Suri, and now Rafiki, at the meerkat exhibit in the main building at the zoo.”

White explained that meerkats live in groups called mobs and that they take turns watching for danger, digging burrows, foraging for food, and even babysitting.  “Our mob can be observed performing their natural behaviors of foraging, digging in the sand, scent marking, soaking up some sun, or being sentry (guard) in the windowsill,” said White.

The Good Zoo is currently open Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The zoo is open on New Year’s Eve from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on New Year’s Day from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m.  Admission is $8.95 for adults and $5.75 for ages 3 through 12.  Ages 2 and under and zoo members are admitted free.  The Light and Music Extravaganza and the Winter Fantasies LASER Show are included with admission.  The zoo will close for public visitation on January 4 but will remain open for membership sales, scheduled education programs and birthday parties. Call 304-243-4030.

The zoo also announced its winter pre-school programs.  “Each pre-school class includes games, stories, songs, activities and of course, live animals,” said Vickie Markey-Tekely, Education Curator for the zoo. “These programs are designed for two to four year olds and a parent or guardian to explore nature and wildlife together.”

January’s classes include Winter Wonderland on January 20 or 23 and Are You Afraid of the Dark on January 27 or 30. Cost is $15.00 for zoo members, $19.00 for non-members and the fees include one child and up to two adults.  Additional siblings are $5.00 each and a discount is available for multiple program attendance. Registration forms and the complete pre-school schedule are available online at www.oglebay-resort.com/goodzoo.

Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay Still Going Strong at 30

Poinsettia Wreath and Candles display at the Oglebay Festival of Lights

One of the Festival’s favorite displays, the Poinsettia Wreath and Candles, is nearly 60 feet tall.

One of America’s largest holiday light shows, the Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay in Wheeling, West Virginia, will begin November 13, 2015 and continue through January 3, 2016. This holiday tradition began in 1985 with just five light displays and landscape lighting covering about 125 acres over a three-mile drive throughout the resort. Since then, the show has grown into one of the nation’s largest light shows, covering more than three hundred acres over a six-mile drive throughout the resort.  Eighty larger-than-life light displays are now part of this glowing show.

Every year new displays are added and one of this year’s new displays will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Winter Festival of Lights.

Candy Canes display at the Winter Festival of Lights

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Festival of Lights at Oglebay. The show started in 1985 with just 5 light displays including the Candy Canes display.

Doug Dalby, President & CEO of the Wheeling Park Commission said the special 30th anniversary edition of the show is being supported by WesBanco. “Over the years financial support from our community has played an important part in the growth and operation of both Oglebay and Wheeling Parks,” said Dalby. “WesBanco’s support of the 2015-16, 30th anniversary of the Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay, is the latest example of this community support. Thank you to Wesbanco for their decision to be a part of this year’s Winter Festival of Lights.”

“WesBanco has a rich heritage of 145 years of community support and are proud to be associated with one of the nation’s largest holiday light shows that has over the past 30 years attracted millions of visitors to Oglebay and the Wheeling area,” said Todd Clossin, WesBanco President & CEO. “As WesBanco has grown, so has the attraction of the Winter Festival of Lights, drawing visitors from areas into which WesBanco has expanded including Pittsburgh and Columbus.”

“Our relationship with Oglebay Park goes back nearly as far as it does with the city of Wheeling and the communities that we have served along the Ohio River,” added Clossin. “WesBanco is proud to have offered customer and community-focused banking since 1870. We are more than a diversified financial services company, we are corporate and community citizens and our partnership with the Winter Festival of Lights allows us to reach the members of our communities and grow in our relationships with our customers in a new and different way.”

Rainbow Tunnel at the Oglebay Festival of Lights

The Rainbow Tunnel was introduced to the show last year. One of 3 light tunnels at the Festival of Lights, it is 100 feet long and changes colors as you drive through.

Other new displays at this year’s Winter Festival of Lights include a 60 foot, animated Christmas Tree and a Penguin Display on Schenk Lake. “The lake area is always a highlight of light show as the displays on the lake are made even more electrifying by their shimmering reflections on the water,” said Caren Knoyer, Marketing Director for Oglebay. Knoyer said the Penguin display was the winning design in last year’s new idea contest.

The new animated Christmas Tree Display features programmable RGB technology. Knoyer explained that this new technology uses Red, Green and Blue colors, RGB, and when the three colors are combined and programmed to vary in intensity, they can produce over 16 million different colors. “We introduced programmable RGB last year with the addition of the Rainbow Tunnel, and this tunnel quickly became a show favorite,” said Knoyer.

Other favorite displays from previous years include the Poinsettia Wreath and Candles, Dinosaur Dell, Ferris Wheel, The Carousel and the extravagant Cinderella Display.

Seven years ago, the Winter Festival of Lights entered a new “green” era with the commitment to use energy-efficient LED lights in all new displays and to begin converting all existing displays to LED.

Rocking Horse Display at the Festival of Lights at Oglebay

The animated Rocking Horse Display was first added to the Festival of Lights in 1992, using 85 amps of electricity with traditional light bulbs. Updated in 2008 with LED lights, this display now uses just 12 amps of electricity.

LED lights use 85% less energy than traditional bulbs and last five times longer. “We want to ensure that the Winter Festival of Lights will be glowing for another 30 years!” said Knoyer.  “For example, the animated Rocking Horse Display was first added to the Festival of Lights in 1992, using 85 amps of electricity with traditional light bulbs.  Now that the display has been updated with vibrant LED lights and it uses just 12 amps of electricity.”

The popular Light and Music Extravaganza returns to the Good Zoo and takes place nightly on the zoo patio with nearly 40,000 LED lights. The zoo at Oglebay will also have their annual holiday model train display at the state’s largest O-Gauge Model Train Exhibit and holiday laser shows at the zoo’s Benedum Theater. Admission to the zoo is $8.95 for adults and $5.75 for children ages 3-12, and this admission includes the Light and Music Extravaganza on the zoo’s patio.

The Gardens of Light is located in the Oglebay Hilltop area, and features 150 hanging baskets of light plus thousands of lighted flowers, trees and shrubs, combined with distinctive holiday music. Knoyer said that the best way to enjoy the Gardens of Light is to take a stroll along the brick path that leads from Carriage House Glass to the Mansion Museum.

Specialty Shops at the Festival of Lights

The Festival of Lights is a great time to explore the 8 specialty shops at Oglebay.

Carriage House Glass, the first stop on the Gardens of Light tour, features a large selection of decorative glass and other collectibles. Carriage House Glass is also home to the sparkling Oglebay Institute Glass Museum featuring an extensive collection of West Virginia glass and glassblowing demonstrations. The Gardens of Light continues next door to the Visitors’ Center and the Farmhouse Sweets and Treats Shoppe. “The Treats Shoppe features a very large selection of chocolates, plus other candy and regionally produced food products, and custom gift baskets.” said Knoyer.

Just outside the Visitors’ Center lies the magical Christmas Tree Garden. Introduced in 2003, the Christmas Tree Garden consists of 30 live trees decorated with various colored lights.  Situated in the center of the Christmas Tree Garden is the Nativity Display.  The life-size Nativity was designed and created by a local artist, and has been a much-loved display at the Winter Festival of Lights since 1985.

The red brick walking path leads from the Christmas Tree Garden to the Greenhouse, Palm Room, Garden Center Gift Shop and the newly-located Christmas Shop. The Christmas Shop is open only during the Festival of Lights and offers a large selection of one-of-a-kind decorations, ornaments and holiday collectibles.

The final stop on the Gardens of Light tour is the Mansion Museum. The Mansion is the former summer home of the Oglebay family and is elegantly decorated for the holidays.

Wilson Lodge at Oglebay during the Festival of Lights

A visit to the Winter Festival of Lights wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Oglebay’s Wilson Lodge. The Lodge is festively decorated, inside and out, and bustling with activity including nightly live entertainment.

The 270-room Wilson Lodge at Oglebay offers special overnight packages during the Winter Festival of Lights. Many changes have taken place at the lodge over the years but it is still the centerpiece of Oglebay. It is festively decorated, inside and out, and bustles with activity including children’s events, delicious holiday dining, cordial gatherings and live musical entertainment.

There is plenty to do and see at Oglebay while waiting for the lights to come on. The Ihlenfeld Dining Room at Wilson Lodge offers a popular holiday buffet nightly and the family-friendly Glass Works Grill at the lodge is open daily for lunch and dinner. The Winter Festival of Lights is also a special time at all of the Oglebay specialty shops. In addition to the shops on The Hilltop, Oglebay has the Resort Shop and West Spa Boutique at Wilson Lodge and Nature Express at the Good Zoo. Gift cards are available at all shops, at the Visitors Center and online at Oglebay’s website.

The Winter Festival of Lights is viewable Sunday through Thursday until 10:00 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday until 11:00 p.m. There is no admission to the Festival but a per car donation of $20 is suggested and is valid for the entire festival season.

Knoyer said that visitors who prefer a guided, narrated tour through the light show, will enjoy one of the trolley tours that are offered several times each night beginning at Wilson Lodge. “There is also a free mobile app for iPhones and iPads available in the Apple App Store,” added Knoyer. “The app has detailed information about each display and also includes photos, maps, and audio and video about the Festival of Lights.”

 The Winter Festival of Lights was listed as one of the 10 Best Christmas Light Displays in the US according to AOL Travel and has been featured on the Travel Channel’s “Most Extreme Christmas Celebrations.” The show is also listed on the American Bus Association’s Top International Events.

Oglebay, and the Winter Festival of Lights, is located 4 miles from I-70 at Exit 2A in Wheeling, West Virginia. The resort is 60 miles from Pittsburgh via I-79 south and I-70 west; 120 miles from Columbus via I-70 east; and 150 miles from Cleveland via I-77 south and I-70 east. For more information about Oglebay and the Winter Festival of Lights, call 800-624-6988 or 304-243-4000 or visit www.oglebay-resort.com

Craig Karges to Present an Extraordinary Benefit for The Oglebay Foundation at the Capitol Theatre

Craig Karges

Craig Karges is joining forces with the Oglebay Foundation and Spilman, Thomas & Battle, PLLC for an evening of mind reading, illusion and mystery on the stage of Wheeling’s Capitol Theatre, Thursday, October 22, 2015

Craig Karges is joining forces with the Oglebay Foundation and Spilman, Thomas & Battle, PLLC for an evening of mind reading, illusion and mystery on the stage of Wheeling’s Capitol Theatre, Thursday, October 22, 2015.

is joining forces with the Oglebay Foundation and Spilman, Thomas & Battle, PLLC for an evening of mind reading, illusion and mystery on the stage of Wheeling’s Capitol Theatre, Thursday, October 22, 2015, at 7:00 p.m.

Karges, a Wheeling native, has made over five thousand appearances in 22 countries on four continents as well as in all 50 states over a 35-year career. Karges’ stage show, “Experience the Extraordinary,” is a 90-minute production that features total audience interaction as Karges reads minds, levitates inanimate objects and makes complex predictions of what audience members will do, say or think.

“I can’t wait to bring the show back to the Capitol,” Karges said. “It’s been five-and-a-half years since I’ve had the pleasure of working the venue. Such a beautiful theatre and one of Wheeling’s true treasures. And, to top it off, the show benefits the Oglebay Foundation, that’s both Oglebay and Wheeling Parks, definitely another of our community’s treasures.”

Karges has made over forty national television appearances including The Tonight Show as well as appearances on CNN, Fox News, CNBC and E! Entertainment Television. He has also starred in two, one-hour television specials and is the author of three books.

Performance, the international touring talent weekly, named Karges’ touring show one of the top five, variety/family shows in North America. Karges was in good company as the list also included the likes of illusionist David Copperfield and Disney on Ice. American Entertainment Magazine named him one of the top five variety entertainers on the corporate circuit. Karges first became popular touring college campuses. He was named Entertainer of the Year six times by the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA). Past NACA award-winners include Bruce Springsteen and Jay Leno. NACA’s campus membership also voted Karges as Variety Entertainer of the Year for twelve consecutive years. The independent Campus Activities Magazine named Karges Entertainer of the Year on four occasions. In addition to Entertainer of the Year, the magazine also named Karges Best Performing Arts Attraction, Best Male Performer, Best Solo Act and Best Novelty Act. Karges was the fifth inductee into the National Campus Entertainment Hall of Fame.   He was named top performer in his field worldwide by the international Psychic Entertainers Association and the National Speakers Association honored him with the Certified Speaking Professional designation and the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame Award. Most recently Karges was presented with The Mentalist Award for notable contributions to the art of magic at the Society of American Magicians Convention in July.

“I love performing in my hometown and I’ve been working on this particular show for a couple years. It will be at least fifty percent different from the last show I presented at the Capitol,” Karges said. “And I can’t thank Spilman, Thomas & Battle enough for stepping up to sponsor the show and cover all the costs related to putting the event on at the Capitol. This is our third venture together and I’m honored that they continue to support my efforts and that we can all band together to help the community. It’s going to be a fun night!”

Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC is a full-service, regional law firm founded in 1864, and has an office in downtown Wheeling. “We are excited to work with the Oglebay Foundation to bring Craig Karges back to the Capitol Theatre,” said Shari Potter, Managing Member of Spilman Thomas & Battle’s Wheeling office. “Partnering to raise funds for Oglebay and Wheeling Park is the perfect way to ensure that Wheeling’s vibrant sense of community continues. We are truly fortunate to have such fine parks and Spilman welcomes the opportunity to help sustain them into the future. And, of course, we are looking forward to an awesome show!”

Spilman Thomas & Battle also has offices in Charleston and Morgantown, West Virginia; Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Roanoke, Virginia; and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. For additional information, please visit www.spilmanlaw.com

The Oglebay Foundation is a non-profit corporation devoted to the raising of private funds for the welfare, maintenance, and future development of Oglebay and Wheeling Park in Wheeling, West Virginia, and their affiliated organizations and programs. The proud tradition of private philanthropy to support the parks began at the founding of Wheeling Park in 1924 and the formation of the Parks System Trust Fund in 1945. Through the decades, these private funds, annual gifts, grants, and sponsorships have helped to create the only self-sustaining public parks system in the United States.

Tickets are $22.50 each and are available at the Wesbanco Arena Box Office or by calling the box office at 304-233-4470. Tickets are also available online at www. capitoltheatrewheeling.com or www.etix.com. Ticket price includes a $2.50 Capitol restoration fee.

A special overnight room rate of $99.00 is available at Oglebay’s Wilson Lodge on October 22. For reservations call 800-624-6988 or visit www.oglebay-resort.com.

Oglebayfest, the Area’s Premier Fall Event, Returns for 38th Year

Oglebay’s fall tradition, Oglebayfest, will begin on Friday, October 2 and continue through Sunday, October 4, 2015. “Oglebayfest began in 1978 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Oglebay and provides an annual ‘thank-you’ to all who visit us year-round,” said John Hargleroad, Director of Operations for Oglebay. Many of Oglebayfest’s activities are offered free of charge or at a reduced admission.

Oglebayfest Artist & Gourmet Market

Carolyn Garvey, left, of Wellsburg, WV, looks at one of Doug Jackson’s creations. Jackson and dozens of other artists and craftsmen will be showing and selling their wares at the Phil Maxwell Artists’ & Gourmet Markets at Oglebayfest .

The Phil Maxwell Artists’ and Gourmet Markets will be located in the Mansion Woods next to the Mansion Museum. The Markets offers a view of the tri-state’s best artisans at work plus an extensive selection of local and regional foods. Both markets will be open Friday 12:00 to 7:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Ohio County Country Fair at Site One features Baked Goods Auctions, Square Dance, Hog Calling Contest, Fiddle Contest, Pedal Power Contest, Hitch Class Show, Rock Throwing Contest, Baby Crawling Contest, and the State Championship Pony Pull. The Country Fair also features demonstrations including Old Fashioned Butter Making and Quilting. Sheep, horses, pigs, cows, goats and other animals will be on display in the Country Fair Livestock Tent.

Two crowd-pleasing favorites, the Oglebayfest parade and the fireworks, will take place on Saturday. The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Good Zoo and the fireworks display will light up the sky over Schenk Lake at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday evening.

Farmhouse Sweets & Treats Shoppe at Oglebay

Farmhouse Sweets & Treats Shoppe will have a Gourmet Sampling Tent during Oglebayfest The Shoppe is located on The Hilltop area next to Bissonnette Gardens.

Oglebayfest is also famous for its foods and non-stop entertainment. The Ihlenfeld Dining Room at Wilson Lodge has several special menus and buffets including the Seafood Extravaganza on Friday and the Brazilian Grill on Saturday. Both buffets are available from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Brunch is offered in the dining room on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Reservations for the dining room can be made by calling 304-243-4080. Entertainment at Wilson Lodge includes Markus & James in Hickman Lounge from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Friday, and Dustin McCray in Hickman on Saturday from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.

The Rathskeller, located at Hess Shelter, is one of Oglebayfest’s most popular destinations. The menu has German favorites including grilled bratwurst plus sauerkraut, German potato salad and specialty beers. Candy Land will be at the Wagon Shed with fun foods including pepperoni rolls, cup o’smores, funnel cakes, popcorn and other treats. Food will be served at the Rathskeller and Wagon Shed on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Entertainment at the Rathskeller includes Alpen Glow German Band, International Folk Dancers and Steve Grkman with his Button Box Accordion.

Good Zoo at Oglebay has free admission during Oglebayfest

There will be free admission to the zoo Saturday and Sunday during Oglebayfest. The zoo will be featuring Animal Enrichment programs during Oglebayfest including a program on African Painted Dogs at 1 pm on Sunday. The Wheeling Fire Department will be at the zoo on Saturday to present Fire Safety.

The Country Kitchen and the Ohio County Country Fair will start serving food at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday at Levenson Shelter and Site One. Hot soup, sandwiches and pie will be available at the Garden Center. Snacks and sandwiches will be available at the Good Zoo, Schenk Lake and the Artists’ Market Woods, and fudge, candy and beverages will be available at Farmhouse Sweets and Treats Shoppe. Farmhouse Sweets and Treats, located on The Hilltop next to Bissonnette Gardens, will also have a gourmet sampling tent.

Oglebayfest is also famous for its non-stop entertainment. There will be a free square dance with Cabin Fever String Band on Friday at the Country Fair from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Haller Shelter will host Hit Play on Friday from 9:00 to 11:30 p.m., Ron Retzer Trio on Saturday from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., and Smoke Daddy and the Crawfish on Saturday from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. There is no admission to the Haller Shelter events but attendees must be 21 years old.

The Good Zoo is offering free admission on Saturday and Sunday where visitors can enjoy various Animal Enrichment programs including meerkats, spectacled bears, river otters, snakes and Painted Dogs. Fire Safety will also be featured on Saturday at the zoo as the Wheeling Fire Department kicks off Fire Safety week. “Come meet local firefighters at the zoo and practice getting out of a smoke-filled house,” added Hargleroad.

Oglebayfest

Becky Howard of Loom Works shows her skills at Oglebayfest.

All the shops of Oglebay will be open during Oglebayfest including Carriage House Glass, the Nature Express Shop at the Good Zoo, the Palm Room by the greenhouse, Wheeling Civic Center Garden Center, Farmhouse Sweets and Treats Shoppe, and the Speidel Pro Shop at the Hamm Clubhouse.

Another popular Oglebayfest attraction, the Belgian horse display, will be at Site One on both Saturday and Sunday, and the Antique Car Display returns to the Mansion Museum lawn on Sunday. Pony rides and inflatable rides will be offered at Schenk Lake on Saturday and Sunday. Clown Around Town will also be at Schenk Lake on Saturday and Sunday.

Oglebayfest offers free parking and the shuttle buses provide easy access to all of the festival’s activities. Special overnight packages are available at Wilson Lodge for Oglebayfest and reservations can be made by calling 800-624-6988 or book online at www.oglebay-resort.com.

For more information about Oglebayfest, call 304-243-4010 or visit www.oglebay-resort.com/fest.htm for a complete Oglebayfest schedule.

Oglebay Good Zoo Releases Rehabilitated Bald Eagle

Rehabilitated Bald Eagle Released

A wild bald eagle was released by the Good Zoo staff after spending 4 weeks at the zoo for rehabilitation.

After spending four weeks at the Good Zoo for rehabilitation, a wild bald eagle was released by the zoo staff on August 14.

“When the juvenile eagle was brought to the zoo in July by our local conservation officer, the bird was severely emaciated, only weighing 5.6lbs, and was very dehydrated,” said zoo animal curator Mindi White. “The eagle was barely standing and could not keep its head up, and the staff at the zoo immediately started fluid therapy.”

Zoo veterinarians completed a thorough examination and the tests revealed no broken bones or gunshot. The West Niles and Avian Influenza tests were also negative.

Bald Eagle, Day One of Rehab

When the juvenile bald eagle was brought to the Good Zoo by the local conservation officer, the bird was severely emaciated, only weighing 5.6lbs, and was very dehydrated.

“Luckily the eagle was strong enough, after a couple rounds of fluid therapy, to eat on its own,” said White. “We needed to be careful to not over feed at the beginning since the eagle was so skinny and its stomach was small. We cut the food into pieces because the eagle, even though strong enough to eat, could not tear the food or swallow it whole. The eagle continued to eat well and the staff was happy to see the bird getting stronger and stronger each day.”

Once to an ideal weight the eagle was given live fish, proving it could hunt, and the eagle was taken to the zoo’s outdoor flight cage.

Rehabilitating a raptor takes time and lots of effort. White estimates that more than 60 hours was spent with the bald eagle in the month that it was at the zoo. “Two veterinarians, two animal care managers and two animal care keepers worked with the eagle,” said White. “The eagle gained nearly four pounds while in our care and we had to be sure that it was hunting and flying like it should before it could be released.”

The Good Zoo is licensed for raptor rehabilitation and has seen many hawks, owls, and a handful of bald eagles. “Since bald eagles are protected, when an eagle comes into the rehab program special permission has to be granted to rehabilitate that specific bird,” explained White. “In a year, we have close to 300 individual raptors come through our program. The goal is always to release the birds, but injuries sometimes are so severe that the raptors need to be placed in an accredited institution.”

Bald eagle after 4 weeks of rehabilitation

After 4 weeks at the Good Zoo the eagle was ready for release, weighing 9 pounds, and hunting and flying properly.

The Good Zoo’s collection currently includes a red-tailed hawk and barred owl that could not be released. The zoo also has a bald eagle at the wetlands exhibit that was rehabbed in Washington State. “The eagle’s wing was broken and she could not be released,” said White. “She is a juvenile so our visitors will have the amazing opportunity to watch her mature and change into her iconic white head.

Good Zoo memberships and monetary donations help cover the cost of rehabilitating local raptors and fund other conservation programs. The zoo opens daily at 10:00 a.m. and admission to the zoo is $8.95 for non-member adults and $5.75 for ages 3-12. Zoo members and ages 2 and under are free.

Labor Day Weekend Activities at Oglebay include Symphony Performance with Fireworks and Drool in the Pool Dog Swim

Oglebay Woodcarvers Show

The Oglebay Woodcarver’s Show will be at the Pine Room on Saturday, September 5 & Sunday, September 6 from 10am to 5pm.

An exciting Labor Day Weekend Celebration is planned at Oglebay. The celebration kicks off on Friday, September 4 with Ron Retzer performing on The Hilltop from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and a magician on The Hilltop from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

The Oglebay Woodcarver’s Show, a Labor Day weekend favorite, will be held at the Pine Room on Saturday, September 5 and Sunday, September 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The show features sales, demonstrations and exhibits.

Another long-time favorite Labor Day event, “Fort Henry Days”, returns to Levenson Shelter/Site One at Oglebay on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 5 p.m. on both days. A battle reenactment will be held at Camp Russel at 3:00 p.m. on both days.

Fireworks will be presented on Sunday, September 5 after Wheeling Symphony’s ‘Music Under the Stars’ at the amphitheater.

Fireworks will be presented on Sunday, September 5 after Wheeling Symphony’s ‘Music Under the Stars’ at the amphitheater.

“The most-anticipated event, Wheeling Symphony’s free performance, ‘Music Under the Stars’, will take place on Sunday, September 6,” said John Hargleroad, Director of Operations for the Wheeling Park Commission. The Wheeling Symphony’s performance begins at 7:30 p.m. and a fireworks display will take place at the amphitheater at the conclusion of the symphony.

Hargleroad noted that there is no admission to the Wheeling Symphony performance, Fort Henry Days and the Woodcarver’s Show, although donations are appreciated at the Woodcarver’s Show.

Inflatable rides and a rock-climbing wall will be at the Schenk Lake area on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, September 5, 6 and 7, from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. each day.

Train Ride at the Oglebay Good Zoo

Activity Wristbands are available daily through Labor Day & provide all day use at the Par III Golf, Miniature Golf, Pedal Boats, Fishing, Outdoor Pool, Tennis, Glass Museum, Trolley, Mansion Museum and the Good Zoo and Train Ride.

Activity Wristbands are available daily through Labor Day at the Good Zoo and Farmhouse Sweets & Treat Shoppe. The wristbands provide all day use at the Par III Golf, Good Zoo and Train Ride, Miniature Golf, Pedal Boats, Fishing, Outdoor Pool, Tennis, Glass Museum, Trolley, and the Mansion Museum. The wristbands are $16.95 each plus applicable fees and taxes. One free ride on the inflatable rides is included with the purchase of a wristband.

The Labor Day Weekend is also a great time to catch up with old friends at the Good Zoo. The zoo opens daily at 10:00 a.m. and admission to the zoo is $8.95 for non-member adults and $5.75 for ages 3-12. Zoo members and ages 2 and under are free.

Oglebay Drool in the Pool Labor Day Celebration

“Drool in the Pool” returns this year to close out the Labor Day weekend activities on Monday, September 7 from 4 to 6 pm.

Drool in the Pool” at the Oglebay Outdoor pool will return this year on Labor Day, Monday, September 7 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. “Dogs, like humans, can enjoy the refreshing water and exercise a public pool provides and many areas across the country allow dogs to swim in a public pool after the pool season is over,” said Hargleroad. “We are excited to offer this special dog swim when the outdoor pool closes for the season on Monday at 4:00 p.m.” There is no admission to “Drool in the Pool” and all dogs participating in the swim must have proof of a current rabies vaccination, and one human, aged 16 and above, is permitted in the pool with one dog. For additional rules for Drool in the Pool visit www.oglebay-resort.com/emails/drool.html

New this year is the K9 – 5K Dog Walk prior to Drool at the Pool.  Hargleroad says it is a fun walk – no admission, no timing and no running.  The walk is at 3 pm, and begins and ends at the pool/tennis parking area.

Monday evening will also feature entertainment on The Hilltop including a stilt walker from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Hula Dancing and Samoan fire dancing from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m.

A special Labor Day overnight package is available at Wilson Lodge

A special Labor Day overnight package is available at Wilson Lodge.

A special Labor Day overnight package is available at Wilson Lodge starting at just $338 for two nights lodging. The package also includes two days of guest activities, the Mountaineer Breakfast Buffet daily, welcome reception and unlimited use of the indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and fitness center at the lodge. For details on the package and to make reservations call 800-624-6988 or book online.