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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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
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.
“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.
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.
“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 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.
They are still young, but they don’t look like it! The Good Zoo babies are starting to look like adults.
The Grevy’s zebra foal, Jamila, is going to be 2 years old in September. She still loves to hang out with her mom, Samburu, and can often be seen galloping and playing in the field. Jamila’s brown stripes have all now turned black, so the only way to tell the difference between the mares is their size. Samburu is still much larger than Jamila.
The zoo’s African Wild Dog Pack celebrated the pups 1st birthday on June 23rd. All three pups, Mikumi, Akili, and Shaba, are almost the exact same size of their parents. Their behavior is the quickest way to identify the three crazy pups. They love to ‘stalk’ each other to hone their hunting skills and are often seen chasing each other around the tree or den.
The Golden Lion Tamarins born at the Good Zoo are now 6 months old! The twin boys are doing great and the family could not be happier. The twins still are slightly smaller than their brothers and parents. The easiest way to find the newest twins is to look for the ones hanging upside down or wrestling on the vines.
Be sure to come see these rare and endangered youngsters!
An exciting Independence Celebration is planned at Oglebay on Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4. “The most-popular event, the fireworks display, will take place on July 3 at Schenk Lake,” said John Hargleroad, Operations Director for the Wheeling Park Commission. The fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m. with special patriotic music presented in conjunction with the fireworks. “The event is an annual tribute to Albert Schenk, and features inspiring patriotic music and fire
works,” said Hargleroad.
“New this year is the Rainbow Tunnel with a red, white and blue patriotic display from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. on July 3,” said Hargleroad.
Hargleroad said the Rainbow Tunnel is a 100-foot light tunnel that was introduced to the Winter Festival of Lights in November 2014. This tunnel has 30 arches that span the road leading from Levenson Shelter to the lake and features programmable RGB technology.
Also planned for July 3 is an Ice Carving demonstration by Chris Kefauver from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Wagon Shed, adjacent to Schenk Lake. Picnic-style food service will be available at Schenk Lake from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. and the Ron Retzer Trio will be performing at the lake from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Inflatable rides will be at the Schenk Lake area from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday. One free ride is included with the purchase of a wristband. Activity wristbands are available every day during the summer at the Good Zoo and the Farmhouse Sweets and Treats Shoppe and provide all day admission to: Par III Golf, Good Zoo & Train Ride, Miniature Golf, Pedal Boats, Fishing, Outdoor Pool, Tennis, Glass Museum & Craftsman Center, Trolley and Mansion Museum. Rental equipment is not included. Wristbands are $16.95 each.
The Hilltop at Oglebay will also have entertainment on Friday, July 3 featuring the musical duo Marcus and James from 5:00 t0 7:00 p.m. and a magician will be entertaining from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The Shops on The Hilltop including Farmhouse Sweets and Treats Shoppe, Carriage House Glass and The Palm Room will be open nightly until 10:00 p.m.
The Oglebay Stables will be offering free tours on Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and pony rides will be ½ price on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for those making advance reservations. Pony ride and trail ride reservations can be made by calling 304-243-4042.
The Independence Celebration is also a great time to catch up with old friends at the Good Zoo and check out what’s new. The zoo will offer July 4th themed animal enrichment activities on Saturday, July 4, from 10:00 a.m.to 4:00 p.m.
The zoo opens daily at 10:00 a.m. during the summer. 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.
New this year at Schenk Lake are kayaks. “Single and double kayaks are now available,” said Hargleroad. “The kayaks are a good addition to the pedal boats and aqua cycles that are currently available at Schenk Lake. Great fun and great exercise!”
“Also new at Schenk Lake is an ADA fishing platform large enough to accommodate two people fishing and the bathrooms at the Lake were totally renovated to be compliant with ADA standards,” added Hargleroad. Funding for the ADA project at the lake was provided by the Schenk Charitable Trust.
The Ihlenfeld Dining Room at Wilson Lodge has new events this summer including the Seafood Extravaganza on Friday and the new Brazilian Grill on Saturday. The dining room is also offering The Louisiana Feast on Tuesday, Linguini’s Italian Trattoria on Wednesday and Ole! Ole It’s Mexican on Thursday this summer. All events are from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. and reservations can be made by calling 304-243-4080.
“We have been offering the Summer Sunday Entertainment Series at our Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater located on the Oglebay Hilltop for several years and we have expanded our entertainment to Monday, Thursday and Friday night.” said Caren Knoyer, Marketing Director.
The Sunday concerts will continue at the amphitheater from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. This season’s lineup is: June 14: Hit Play; June 21: De Ja Vue; June 28: Joseph Sisters; July 5: U.S. Kids; July 12: Miller Smith and Mazure; July 19: Grkmania; July 26: Cabin Fever; August 2: Mahajibee Blues; August 9: East Street; August 16: Hoard and Jones; August 23: Sarah Hays Band; August 30: Bridges and Friends; September 6: Wheeling Symphony; September 13: 40 +; and, September 20: Wally Gingers Orchestra.
Monday night’s entertainment will be offered from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. and includes stilt walkers from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. “There will be a different personality each week greeting visitors on stilts,” said Knoyer.
From 8:00 to 10:00 pm on Monday, Hula Dancers and Samoan fire dancing will be featured.
Every Thursday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. another free concert will be offered. Jeff Jimerson & Airborne will perform on June 18, July 9, July 16, July 23, July 30, August 6, August 13, August 20, August 27, September 3, September 10 and September 17.
“We were thrilled to get Jeff Jimerson for so many performances,” said Knoyer. “Anyone that has attended the B.E. Taylor Christmas Show will recognize Jeff. He is also the primary National Anthem singer for the Pittsburgh Penguins and has performed for the Steelers and Pirates.” Jimerson will be performing with his four piece variety band Airborne.
Another popular group, Hit Play, will perform on June 25 and July 2.
More great music is on tap for Friday’s entertainment. Marcus & James or Ron Retzer will perform from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
“And, from 7:00 to 9pm on Friday, magician Steve Haberman will be amazing young and old!” added Knoyer. Haberman, a unique combination of comedian, illusionist and mentalist, will present two to three mini shows per hour
Brian Burkley, Director of Food and Beverage said that during the entertainment fun sidewalk food fare will be available on The Hilltop including walking tacos, cheese steaks, hot dogs & more!
In addition to the entertainment, lights have also been added to the gardens. “Every night at dusk a new, innovative display of lights will showcase the natural beauty of the gardens,” said Knoyer.
Other activities in The Hilltop area are shops, the Mansion Museum and the Glass Museum. The shops on the Hilltop will have extended hours during the summer. Jill Neumann, Manager of Retail, said that Farmhouse Sweets & Treat Shoppe, Carriage House Glass and the Palm Room will be open later to accommodate the visitors that come to enjoy the entertainment.
“There is so much more than flowers and gardens on The Hilltop at Oglebay this summer,” said Knoyer. “Bring the entire family to enjoy fresh-picked fun, entertainment and food.”
For the complete entertainment schedule please visit www.oglebay-resort.com/summer
The Good Zoo is offering an exclusive safari to Tanzania, East Africa. The trip will be escorted by Zoo Curator Mindi White, and retired zoo director Penny Miller. The safari runs from November 2 to November 13, 2015, with an optional extension to Zanzibar. “This trip is a treasure trove of wildlife and culture. It’s the “bucket list,” trip of a lifetime for any wildlife lover, birdwatcher or photographer,” White said.
This exclusive safari will cover unforgettable spots including the unique eco-system of Ngorongoro Crater, the vast savannahs of the Serengeti, and the flamingo-lined shores of Lake Manyara. “We will be watching elephant, zebra, wildebeest, impala, giraffe, lions, black rhinos, cheetah, hyena, jackal, and warthog, along with over 100 species of birds, ans searching for the elusive leopard,” White said. “Some of these species are highly endangered and disappearing at an alarming rate,” she added. The trip will also include a visit to Olduvai Gorge where the roots of modern man were unearthed by the Leakeys, plus a visit to a Maasai village.
“Hands down, this safari destination and itinerary is my favorite of all we have offered,” said Miller, who had been to Africa 10 times. She has led previous zoo safaris to Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia, and recently returned from a wildlife-themed tour of Cuba. “Our naturalist guide Robert Marks Moshi was born a Massai, and has been our guide on our other Tanzania trips. Our travelers just love him; he is an expert on the wildlife and the Massai culture and his stories add a whole new dimension to the safari.” Miller added that this safari is unusual in that there will be three seasoned zoo professionals on the trip, and one of the zoo’s adult volunteers, a retired college professor who has led his own trips to Africa.
An informative meeting will be held at the Good Zoo on Sunday, June 7 at 1:30 p.m. The meeting will include photographs of past trips, discussion of the itinerary, packing tips and provide answers to all questions. For reservations or more information visit www.oglebay-resort.com/goodzoo or contact Mindi White at 304-243-4029, or Penny Miller at 304-238-3215.
To help raise awareness of the work the Good Zoo is doing to save animals from extinction and to highlight the public’s role in saving species, members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which includes the Good Zoo, are coming together in a variety of ways to help the public consider what it would be like to not be able to see, learn from or connect with these incredible animals again.
On Friday, May 15, 2015, the 10th Anniversary of Endangered Species Day, several of the Good Zoo’s endangered species will be highlighted including a special presentation on the future of the Spectacled Bear.
Stan Myers, an adult volunteer at the Good Zoo, will be at the Spectacled Bear and Otter Exhibit beginning at 10:00 a.m. “Throughout the day Stan will be explaining the status of Spectacled Bears in the world today and how they are on the brink of extinction,” said Mindi White, Curator of Animals for the Good Zoo.
Black and green ribbons will be placed on various exhibits at the zoo. “The black will signify endangered/threatened/species of concern and the green ribbons will signify some type of ‘success’’, said White.
“Our success stories include our African wild dog pups, our Golden Lion Tamarin babies and our raptor rehab,” White explained. “We will have a small graphic to go along with each ribbon with facts and information. The ribbons will remain up through the weekend.
The zoo will also feature a Grevy’s Zebra video in the lobby to explain the plight of this species.
May 15 also marks the national launch of AZA SAFE: Saving Animals from Extinction (SAFE), said White. Through SAFE, for the first time, the entire AZA-accredited zoo and aquarium community will focus their conservation science, wildlife expertise, and 180 million annual visitors on saving species in the wild. In 2015, SAFE will focus on 10 species, to be announced.
This new collaboration builds on the existing conservation efforts by the 229 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums. SAFE harnesses the collective power and infrastructure, along with additional funding and resources, to target specific endangered species and save them from extinction by restoring healthy populations in the wild. Through SAFE, AZA and its members will convene scientists and global stakeholders to identify factors threatening species, develop Conservation Action Plans, collect new resources and engage the public.
The Good Zoo is currently open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $8.95 for adults and $5.75 for ages 3 through 12. Children ages 2 and under and members are admitted free. For more information call the Good Zoo office at 304-243-4030 or visit www.oglebay-resort.com/GoodZoo and join the online SAFE conversation via #savingspecies.
About AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction
AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction combines the power of zoo & aquarium visitors with the resources and collective expertise of zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and partners to save animals from extinction. Together we are working on saving the most vulnerable wildlife species from extinction and protecting them for future generations. To learn more, visit AZAsavingspecies.org.