Archive for the ‘General Resort’ Category

Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay Still Going Strong After 29 Years

Rainbow Tunnel at the Oglebay Festival of Lights

The new Rainbow Tunnel is 100 feet long and changes colors as you drive through.

One of America’s largest holiday light shows, the Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay in Wheeling, West Virginia, will begin November 14, 2014 and continue through January 4, 2015.  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 including the new Rainbow Tunnel.

 

Every year new displays are added and the placement of the existing displays change to keep the show fresh. “We are very excited about this year’s new addition, the Rainbow Tunnel,” said Caren Knoyer, marketing director. “We currently have two light tunnels and they are both very popular.” The new tunnel is 100 feet long with multi-colored lights. “Thirty arches will span the road leading down to the lake area,” said Knoyer. “We are certain this tunnel will be a big hit.”

 

Favorites from previous years include the festival’s tallest display, “Poinsettia Wreath and Candles” which stands close to sixty feet tall and spans fifty feet in diameter. Other display favorites include the “Ferris Wheel”, “The Carousel” and the extravagant “Cinderella Display.”

 

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.

Six 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 many more 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 has been updated this year with new music and choreography. The Light and Music Extravaganza takes place nightly on the zoo patio with more than 35,500 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 $9.00 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 and gardens 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.

 

The Gardens of Light at the Oglebay Festival of Lights

The Gardens of Light is located in the Oglebay hilltop and gardens area, and features 150 hanging baskets of light plus thousands of lighted flowers, trees and shrubs, combined with distinctive holiday music.

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. “This shop features a very large selection of chocolates, plus other candy and regionally produced food products,” said Knoyer.  “Custom gift baskets are also available at Farmhouse Sweets and Treats.”  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 and Garden Center Gift Shop, where visitors can find live holiday flowers, garden gifts and silk floral arrangements. 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 Christmas Shop at the Oglebay Festival of Lights

Oglebay has 8 specialty shops including the Christmas Shop at the Speidel Golf Club.

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 Carriage House Glass, Farmhouse Sweets & Treats, Palm Room and Garden Center shops in the Gardens of Light area, the Resort Shop and West Spa Boutique at Wilson Lodge, Nature Express at the Good Zoo, and the Christmas Shop at the Speidel Golf Club are all fully stocked for the holiday season.  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.  Gift cards are available at all shops, at the Visitors Center and online at Oglebay’s website.

 

The Winter Festival of Lights is will continue nightly through January 4, 2015 and 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.  Visitors making a $25.00 donation will receive a DVD of the Festival of Lights and Oglebay story.

 

Wilson Lodge at the Oglebay Festival of Lights

The 270-room Wilson Lodge at the Oglebay is festively decorated, inside & out, during the Winter Festival of Lights.

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, was named as a top 100 event by Eventcrazy.com and was recently listed as one of the top 200 events in the country by Discover America.

Oglebayfest, the Area’s Premier Fall Event, Returns for 37th Year

Robert Villamagna at Oglebayfest

Robert Villamagna, left, discusses his artwork with Barbara Ruben of Wheeling, WV. Villamagna is one of the artists that will be at Phil Maxwell Artists’ & Gourmet Markets at Oglebayfest October 3-5 at Oglebay.

Oglebay’s fall tradition, Oglebayfest, will begin on Friday, October 3 and continue through Sunday, October 5, 2014.  “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.  Most 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. Visit www.oglebay-resort.com/fest.htm for a complete list of participating vendors at the market.

 

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 Gala on Friday and the Chophouse 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 Sarah Hays in Hickman Lounge from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Friday, Markus & James in Hickman on Saturday from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.

 

Vu ja de Vineyards at Oglebayfest

Bryan George from Vu ja de Vineyards describes one of his wines to Carolyn Garvey of Wellsburg, WV. Vu ja de and many other wine and food vendors will be offering tastings and samples at the Phil Maxwell Artists’ & Gourmet Markets at Oglebayfest

The Rathskeller, located at Hess Shelter, is one of Oglebayfest’s most popular destinations. The menu has German favorites including grilled bratwurst and knockwurst plus sauerkraut, German potato salad and specialty beers. Emerald City will be at the Wagon Shed with fun foods including deep fried apple pie with ice cream, funnel cakes and corn dogs.  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 Fold 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.

 

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 Hoard and Jones on Friday from 9:00 to 11:30 p.m., Bill McCoy & Bob Turbanic 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 must be 21 years old to attend.

 

Dinosaurs at the Good Zoo at Oglebay

The Good Zoo at Oglebay will offer free admission on Saturday, October 4 and Sunday, October 5 as part of the Oglebayfest celebration. The dinosaurs will be on display and the zoo is offering a special Fire Safety presentation on Saturday in cooperation with the Wheeling Fire Department.

The Good Zoo is offering free admission on Saturday and Sunday where visitors can enjoy the Dinosaur Exhibit.  “Several life-sized, moving, roaring dinosaurs will be on display and our African Wild Dog pups, born in August, will on display,” said Penny Miller, Director of the Good Zoo.  The zoo will also feature Fire Safety on Saturday in cooperation with the Wheeling Fire Department.  “Come meet local firefighters and practice getting out of a smoke-filled house,” added Miller.

 

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. Farmhouse Sweets and Treats Shoppe will have a sampling tent with fresh-made fudge and other treats. Carriage House Glass is featuring West Virginia Artisan Glass and will be hosting Fenton Glass representative Jena L. Blair with demonstrations on bead making on Saturday from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Blair will also be showing the Fenton Art Glass jewelry line.

 

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.

 

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.

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

Oglebay Drool in the Pool Labor Day Celebration

“Drool in the Pool” returns this year to close out the Labor Day weekend activities on Mon, Sept 1 from 4 to 6 p.m. Other favorites returning for the Labor Day weekend are Wheeling Symphony’s “Music Under the Stars,” Fort Henry Days, the Woodcarver’s Show & inflatable rides. Fireworks will follow the symphony’s concert on Sun Aug 31.

An exciting Labor Day Weekend Celebration is planned at Oglebay on Saturday, August 30, Sunday, August 31 and Monday, September 1.  “The most-anticipated event, Wheeling Symphony’s free performance, ‘Music Under the Stars’, will take place on Sunday,” said John Hargleroad, Director of Operations for the Wheeling Park Commission.  The Wheeling Symphony’s performance begins at 7:30 p.m.  and a brilliant fireworks display will take place at the amphitheater at the conclusion of the symphony.

 

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

 

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 from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. each day.

 

Daily Activity Wristbands will be available at the Good Zoo and Visitors Center all three days. 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 $16.00 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 a great time to visit the Good Zoo and see the Dinosaur Exhibit before it goes extinct!” said Penny Miller, Director of the Good Zoo. This special exhibit includes life-sized dinosaurs that move and roar.

 

The zoo opens daily at 10:00 a.m. and admission to the zoo is $9.00 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 Monday, September 1 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.  See below for additional rules for Drool in the Pool:

  1. All owners must have proof of their dog’s current Rabies vaccination.
  2. All dogs must be current on all other vaccinations: Parvovirus (CPV), Canine distemper virus (CDV), Canine adenovirus (CAV).
  3. One human is permitted in the pool with one dog.
  4. No human swimming – wading only.
  5. No one under 16 may wade in the pool.
  6. Participants who are pregnant or have compromised immune systems may not enter the pool.
  7. No dogs or humans with open wounds may enter the pool.
  8. Activity is confined to the shallow end of the pool.
  9. Owners are responsible for any and all accidents and injury to their own dog.
  10. Vicious or aggressive dogs may be required to leave.
  11. Retractable leashes are not permitted.
  12. Dogs must be clean and brushed before entering the pool.
  13. Owners must pick up their dog’s waste.
  14. Participants must bath after the event.

Thursday Artist Series at the Oglebay Amphitheater Presents Shakespeare in the Park

Shakespeare in the Park at OglebayThe Independent Theatre Collective will be producing their inaugural Shakespeare in the Park production, Two Gentlemen of Verona on June 26, July 10 and 24, and August 7, 2014 at the Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater in Oglebay.

 

Under the direction of John E. Reilly, William Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona will anchor Oglebay’s Thursday Artist Series this summer. “Two Gentlemen of Verona is a comedy about the adventures of two bosom buddies, Valentine and Proteus,” said Jeremy Richter, Playwright/Composer & Director for the Independent Theatre Collective. “When Proteus falls in love with his best friend’s girlfriend, the guys find themselves between the bonds of male friendship and romance.”

 

Written as early as 1590-91, Two Gentlemen of Verona has been debated to be Shakespeare’s first play. The cast includes Woody Pond, Brendan Sheehan, Cassandra Hackbart, Karissa Martin, Nate Foster, Vince Marshall, Josh Fromhart, Justin Swoyer, Dana Applegate, Liz Richter and Isa Campbell.

 

The Independent Theatre Collective is a Wheeling-based, non-profit theatre company that has consistently produced new, original work in New York City’s Theatre District, most recently the co-written ten-minute play, Changing Game by Jeremy F Richter and Ron Scott, Jr. It is ITC’s mission to embrace, encourage and create opportunities for development and change within its physical and artistic communities through collaborative partnerships.

 

Amphitheater at Oglebay

Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater at Oglebay has free entertainment on Sunday & Thursday evenings in the summer.

Additional entertainment in the Thursday Artist Series at the Oglebay amphitheater include The De’ja’vu Band on July 3, Deni Bonet on July 17, and the Beatles tribute band A Hard Day’s Night on July 31.

 

The amphitheater at Oglebay is also home to the Summer Sunday Entertainment Series featuring Silver Sky on June 22, Cabin Fever on June 29, Almost Famous Bluegrass on July 6, The Wally Gingers Orchestra on July 13, Dick Taddy on July 20, The Ron Retzer Trio on July 27, Rusty Wright on August 3, Roger Hoard on August 10, The Jades on August 17, and Smoke Daddy and the Crawfish on August 24.  The series ends with the Wheeling Symphony’s Music Under the Stars on August 31.

 

All performances begin at 7:00 p.m. and are free to the public.  In the event of rain the performances will be moved to an indoor facility at Oglebay. For more information please call 304-243-4010 or visit www.oglebay-resort.com/summer_ent.htm

Memorial Day Weekend Celebration at Oglebay

The Memorial Day Weekend marks the start of summer activities at Oglebay and John Hargleroad, Director of Operations, says that all the Oglebay facilities will be open beginning Friday, May 23 with some special activities planned for the Memorial Day weekend.

 

Schenk Lake at Oglebay

Aqua Cycles and pedal boats will be one of the many activities available at Schenk Lake at Oglebay during the Memorial Day weekend. Inflatable rides and Doozy the Clown will also be at the lake Saturday, May 24 through Monday, May 26.

“The always-popular inflatable rides will be at the Schenk Lake area on Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and Doozy the Clown will also be at the lake area all three days from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.,” said Hargleroad.

 

Oglebay will begin offering daily activity wristbands on Friday, May 23.  The wristbands are available at the Good Zoo and Visitors Center through Labor Day and 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 will also provide one admission to the inflatable rides this weekend,” reminded Hargleroad. The wristbands are $16.00 each plus applicable fees and taxes.

 

New this year is a United States Flag Retirement Ceremony at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, May 26.  “The special ceremony will be conducted by American Legion Post #1 and the public is encouraged to bring US flags that are no longer serviceable to the ceremony,” said Hargleroad. The American Legion will ensure that the flags are properly disposed of with honor at a later date.

 

“It is interesting to note that American Legion Post #1 in Wheeling was the first American Legion Post established in the United States,” added Hargleroad.  The Post was established by an act of congress in 1919.

 

The Memorial Day Weekend is also a great time to catch up with old friends at the Good Zoo and check out what’s new including the Dinosaur exhibit with all-new dinosaurs. “These lifelike dinosaurs are fitted with electric brains so they move and roar,” said Penny Miller, Director of the Good Zoo.   Miller said most of the dinosaurs can be discovered in the woods near the Australian Exhibit but a couple of the dinosaurs are located in other areas of the zoo.

 

Dinosaurs at the Good Zoo at Oglebay

An all-new display of lifelike dinosaurs has arrived at the Good Zoo and will greet zoo visitors throughout the Memorial Day weekend.

“The Edmontonia has claimed the top of the wetlands waterfall as his prehistoric perch for the summer and the Suchomimus is located in the Wetlands,” added Miller. For a close up view of the Edmontonia Miller suggested a train ride but the creature can be seen and heard from the Wetlands.

 

The zoo is also accepting entries for the third annual “Capture the Wild” photography contest.  “We have had a great response to our photography contests and are looking forward to this year’s entries,” said Miller.  “We’ll be awarding some great prizes!” Contest rules and entry forms are available on the zoo’s website.

 

Miller also added that the zoo’s Animal Encounters programs are getting more and more popular.  “This program allows guests to get into animal exhibits with the keepers to help feed and train some of the zoo’s animals including the lemurs, red pandas, river otters and kangaroos.” said Miller. The encounters must be scheduled in advance by calling 304-243-4030.

 

The Good Zoo is open daily at 10 am. Admission is $9.00 for adults, $5.75 for ages 3-12, and ages 2 & under and members are free.

 

The popular Segway Tours have also returned for another season.  “Join our friendly guides for an exciting tour on a high tech personal transporter,” said Hargleroad.  “It’s a great way to experience the picturesque natural beauty of Oglebay.” The tours begin at Schenk Lake at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Reservations for Segway Tours can be made by calling 304-243-4090.

 

Amphitheater at Oglebay

The Summer Sunday Entertainment Series at the Amphitheater begins Sunday, May 25 with the Hit Play Band. A different band will be featured every Sunday through Labor Day.

The Hit Play Band will present a free concert at the Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater on Sunday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.  “This performance is the beginning of the Summer Sunday Entertainment Series featuring a different band every Sunday through Labor Day at the amphitheater,” added Hargleroad. The entire summer’s schedule is available on the Oglebay website.

 

“For those who want to celebrate the weekend with an all-American picnic, many beautiful picnic sites are available at Oglebay and can be reserved by calling 304-243-4010,” added Hargleroad.

 

The Seafood Gala is available at the Ihlenfeld Dining Room at Wilson Lodge on Friday evening and the new Chop House featuring apple-smoked Prime Rib, is offered on Saturday evening.  For dining reservations call 304-243-4080.

 

For more information on all activities at Oglebay visit www.oglebay-resort.com.

USPTA’s Tennis Across America Set for May 17 at Oglebay

Tennis Across America at Oglebay on May 17, 2014

Established in 1990 by the USPTA, Tennis Across America is the original, free, grassroots lesson program.

The Oglebay Tennis Complex will be part of the nation’s biggest tennis event in May that will involve thousands of players hitting countless tennis balls, according to Jeremy McClelland, director of tennis for the Wheeling Park Commission.

 

The annual Tennis Across America program is sponsored by the United States Professional Tennis Association. “Tennis Across America is a perfect way to kick start getting fit and learning a new sport,” said McClelland. “Tennis is a fitness activity for the entire family. Best of all, Tennis Across America is free! Racquets will be provided for use during TAA to those who do not have them.”

 

Beginners and advanced players, both juniors and adults, as well as those who have never played tennis before, are invited to Oglebay on Saturday, May 17, 2014, beginning at 12:00 p.m. to participate in the nationwide event.

 

Activities will include adult and junior clinics, introduction to cardio tennis, and 10 and Under Tennis. Making use of all 10 clay courts at the Oglebay Resort is the goal of McClelland. “Getting people on the tennis court is my primary goal,” said McClelland. “If they are there and have fun, they will want to come back.”

 

According to “Youth Tennis,” “Tennis is fun for kids of all ages and levels; with a minimum risk of injury, the sport provides many social, health, and psychological benefits.”

 

Tennis Center at Oglebay Resort

Tennis Across America at Oglebay will include adult and junior clinics. “Getting people on the tennis court is my primary goal,” said Jeremy McClelland, Director of Tennis. “If they are there and have fun, they will want to come back.”

The beginner adult and junior clinics will introduce basic components of the game:  grip, forehand, backhand, volley, overhead, and serve. While beginners are assisted in getting started with the sport, experienced players will be on other courts playing points.

 

Cardio Tennis Cardio Tennis is a fun group activity for anyone at any playing level looking for an exciting way to burn calories and interact with others outside of the gym.

Cardio Tennis is a high energy fitness activity that combines the best features of the sport of tennis with cardiovascular exercise, delivering the ultimate, full body, calorie burning aerobic workout.

QuickStart and 10 and Under Tennis provide the chance for kids to learn tennis and have real fun doing it. These programs use racquets, balls, and courts that are sized for kids so that they enjoy the game right from the start.

 

“Kid-sized equipment and courts, and balls that don’t bounce over their heads, give kids the advantage they need to learn to play tennis,” said McClelland. “Age-appropriate lessons make sure that kids are successful.”

 

McClelland said the cooperative, no-pressure, learn-to-compete approach is key.  “A play-to-learn approach emphasizes the development of motor skills and a progression to teach racquet skills. Spontaneous, creative play is incorporated with the concept of “Kids first. Tennis second.”

With various activities planned, the USPTA and McClelland hope to get the tri-state area excited about tennis: “In recent years the number of players on the courts has dropped, but programs like this give me the chance to draw people to the sport I love,” added McClelland.

 

Established in 1990 by the USPTA, Tennis Across America is the original, free, grassroots lesson program.  For additional information, contact McClelland at the Oglebay Tennis Shop at 304-243-4040.

Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay Still Going Strong After 28 Years

Mobile app for the Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay

A new mobile app for iPhones is available and includes photos and maps for Oglebay and the Festival of Lights plus audio and video for all the light displays. There are several mobile hot spots at the Festival of Lights including the Good Zoo, Wilson Lodge, Hamm Clubhouse at the Speidel Golf Club and the Visitors Center. The app is free at the Apple App Store.

One of America’s largest holiday light shows, the Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay in Wheeling, West Virginia, will begin November 8, 2013 and continue through January 5, 2014.  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 including the new Christmas Tree Farm display.

 

 

Five 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 many more years!” said Caren Knoyer, marketing director.  “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.”

 

Every year new displays are added and the placement of the existing displays change to keep the show fresh. Christmas Tree Farm, one of this year’s new displays, was the winner of last year’s Festival of Lights New Idea Contest.  “The winning entry was from 7th grader Madison Zoladz,” added Knoyer.  “Madison said she was inspired by the number of cars she saw during the holiday season carrying Christmas trees.”  This year’s other new displays are Woodpeckers and Leaping Frog, and the Oglebay Village has been expanded.

 

The Good Zoo at Oglebay Lights Up For You

The Light and Music Extravaganza takes place nightly on the zoo patio with more than 35,500 LED lights choreographed to exciting holiday music. Admission to the zoo is $9.00 for adults and $5.75 for children ages 3-12, and this admission includes the Light and Music Extravaganza.

The popular Light and Music Extravaganza returns to the Good Zoo again this year. The Light and Music Extravaganza takes place nightly on the zoo patio with more than 35,500 LED lights choreographed to exciting holiday music. 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 $9.00 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 and gardens 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 Oglebay during the Winter Festival of Lights

The Festival of Lights is a special time at the Oglebay specialty shops! Carriage House Glass, Farmhouse Sweets & Treats, Palm Room, Garden Center, the Resort Shop and West Spa Boutique at Wilson Lodge, Nature Express at the Good Zoo, and the Christmas Shop at the Speidel Golf Club are all fully stocked for the holiday season.

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. “This shop features a very large selection of chocolates, plus other candy and regionally produced food products,” said Knoyer.  “Custom gift baskets are also available at Farmhouse Sweets and Treats.”  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 and Garden Center Gift Shop, where visitors can find live holiday flowers, garden gifts and silk floral arrangements. 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. 

 

Dinosaur Dell Display at the Oglebay Winter Festival of Lights

Every year new displays are added and some are retired, and some are moved to different locations to keep the show fresh. This year’s new displays include Christmas Tree Farm, Woodpeckers and Leaping Frog. The popular Dinosaur Dell Display has a new home this year.

The 271-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 Carriage House Glass, Farmhouse Sweets & Treats, Palm Room and Garden Center shops in the Gardens of Light area, the Resort Shop and West Spa Boutique at Wilson Lodge, Nature Express at the Good Zoo, and the Christmas Shop at the Speidel Golf Club are all fully stocked for the holiday season.  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.  Gift cards are available at all shops, at the Visitors Center and online at Oglebay’s website.

 

Mansion Museum at Oglebay

The Oglebay family's summer home is now the Mansion Museum. The Mansion is elegantly decorated, inside and out, for the Winter Festival of Lights.

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 is requested and is valid for the entire festival season.  Visitors making a $25.00 donation will receive a DVD of the Festival of Lights and Oglebay story.

 

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. “We also have a new mobile app for iPhones this year,” added Knoyer.  “This free app, available in the Apple App Store, 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, was named as a top 100 event by Eventcrazy.com and was recently listed as one of the top 200 events in the country by Discover America.

 
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

Oglebayfest, the Area’s Premier Fall Event, Returns for 36th Year

Oglebay’s fall tradition, Oglebayfest, will begin on Friday, October 4 and continue through Sunday, October 6, 2013.  “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.  Most of Oglebayfest’s activities are offered free of charge or at a reduced admission.

 

Artists & Gourmet Markets at Oglebayfest

Nancy Tirone, right, shows Kirsten Ruben of Lawrence, PA, one of her works at last year’s Oglebayfest. Tirone and dozens of other artists and craftsmen will be showing and selling their wares at the Phil Maxwell Artists’ & Gourmet Markets at Oglebayfest October 4-6 at Oglebay.

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 will also features demonstrations on Rug Braiding, Old Fashioned Butter Making, Corn Grinding, Blacksmithing, and Quilting. Antique Farm Equipment will also be on display both days and Quilts & Needlework can be found at Camp Russel. Sheep, horses, pigs, cows, goats and other animals will be on display in the Country Fair Livestock Tent.

 

 

Artists & Gourmet Markets at Oglebayfest

Bryan George from Vu ja de Vineyards describes one of his wines to Jennifer Knoyer of Martins Ferry. Vu ja de and many other wine and food vendors will be offering tastings and samples at the Phil Maxwell Artists’ & Gourmet Markets at Oglebayfest.

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 with Roland Hobbs serving as the parade Grand Marshall.  Hobbs recently retired from the Wheeling Park Commission where he has served as a member of the commission since 1973.  “We are proud to honor Mr. Hobbs as this year’s Oglebayfest Parade Grand Marshall for his many years of distinguished service and significant contributions to the Wheeling Park Commission,” said Hargleroad. 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 Gala on Friday and the Smokehouse Buffet 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 Dustin McCray in Hickman Lounge from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Friday, Markus & James in Hickman on Saturday from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. and Mansfield 5 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. in Glessner Auditorium.

 

Oglebayfest

An Antique Car Display on the Mansion Museum lawn at Oglebay is scheduled for Sunday, October 6 from 12 to 4 pm. The display is one of the many events planned during Oglebayfest October 4-6. Other events include the Ohio County Country Fair, the Phil Maxwell Artists’ & Gourmet Markets, a parade, fireworks, entertainment and specialty foods.

The Rathskeller, located at Hess Shelter, is one of Oglebayfest’s most popular destinations. The menu has German favorites including grilled bratwurst, knackwurst and sauerkraut. The Harvest Carnival at the Wagon Shed returns with fun foods including chocolate dipped frozen bananas, deep fried oreos, funnel cakes and corn dogs.  Farmhouse Sweets and Treats Shoppe, Oglebay’s newest shop, will have fresh-made fudge, roasted nuts and gourmet chocolates at the Wagon Shed.  Food will be served at the Rathskeller and Harvest Carnival on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Entertainment at the Rathskeller includes Alpen Glow German Band, International Fold 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.

 

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 Miller, Smith & Mazure Band on Friday from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m., Sarah Mahan-Hays 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 must be 21 years old to attend.

 

Good Zoo

The Good Zoo at Oglebay will offer free admission on Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6 as part of the Oglebayfest celebration. The zoo is offering a special Fire Safety presentation on Saturday in cooperation with the Wheeling Fire Department and the life-size, moving roaring dinosaur exhibit at the zoo continues through October 27.

The Good Zoo is offering free admission on Saturday and Sunday where visitors can enjoy the Dinosaur Exhibit.  “Several life-sized, moving, roaring dinosaurs will be on display through Boo at the Zoo,” said Penny Miller, Director of the Good Zoo.  The zoo will also feature Fire Safety on Saturday in cooperation with the Wheeling Fire Department.  “Come meet local firefighters and practice getting out of a smoke-filled house,” added Miller.

 

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. Carriage House Glass is featuring West Virginia Artisan Glass.

 

There will be glassblowing demonstrations on the Mansion Museum lawn all three days and an Antique Car Display will be on the lawn on Sunday.

 

Another popular Oglebayfest attraction, the Belgian horse display, will be at Site One on both Saturday and Sunday. Pony rides and inflatable rides will be offered at Schenk Lake on Saturday and Sunday.  

 

The Schrader Environmental Center will present Mike Kandis and Friends featuring Bearded Dragons, Ball Pythons and other reptiles.  Admission is $2.00 per person.

 

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.

Be a Part of the Oglebayfest Parade on October 5!

Oglebay invites area schools, colleges, civic and cultural organizations, scouts and other service entities as well as church groups to participate in this year’s Oglebayfest parade on Saturday, October 5, 2013. The Oglebayfest parade is an opportunity to feature civic and cultural groups, magnificent horses, old time buggies, farm equipment, area bands and even reigning queens.

 

The parade lineup is in the Good Zoo parking lot with participants expected to arrive at least one hour before the 9:30 a.m. start of the parade. Marshals will direct entries to their unit.

 

Interested parties should contact Janet Wodesky, parade coordinator, at 304-243-4122 by September 26. There is no entry fee and parade participant forms and regulations are available online at http://www.oglebay-resort.com/Oglebayfest_parade.pdf.

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

Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater at Oglebay

The Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater at Oglebay will host Wheeling Symphony’s Music Under the Stars on Sunday, September 2. The free performance is part of Oglebay’s Labor Day Weekend celebration and fireworks will follow the symphony’s concert.

An exciting Labor Day Weekend Celebration is planned at Oglebay on Saturday, August 31, Sunday, September 1 and Monday, September 2.  “The most-anticipated event, Wheeling Symphony’s free performance, ‘Music Under the Stars’, will take place on Sunday,” said John Hargleroad, Director of Operations for the Wheeling Park Commission.  The Suzuki Strings will perform at the amphitheater on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. followed by the Wheeling Symphony’s performance at 7:30 p.m.  A brilliant fireworks display will take place at the amphitheater at the conclusion of the symphony.

 

A Labor Day weekend favorite, “Fort Henry Days”, returns to 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 Saturday and Sunday.

 

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

 

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 from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. each day.  The inflatable rides start at $1.00 per ride and the rock wall is $5.00 for each climb.  

 

Daily Activity Wristbands will be available at the Good Zoo and Visitors Center all three days. 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 $16.00 each plus applicable fees and taxes.  One free ride on the inflatable rides is included with the purchase of a wristband.

 

Dinosaur Exhibit at the Good Zoo

The Labor Day Weekend is a great time to visit the Good Zoo at Oglebay to see the Dinosaur Exhibit before it goes extinct. The zoo will present “Dino Talk” on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, August 31-September 2, from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.

“The Labor Day Weekend is a great time to visit the Good Zoo and see the Dinosaur Exhibit before it goes extinct!” said Penny Miller, Director of the Good Zoo. This special exhibit includes five life-sized dinosaurs, one off-spring, and a nest of newly-hatched baby dinos. “The dinosaurs are fitted with an electric brain so they move and roar,” added Miller.

 

 The zoo will present “Dino Talk” with the baby T-Rex on Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.

 

The zoo opens daily at 10:00 a.m. and admission to the zoo is $9.00 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 Oglebay

Wheeling native Dick Farley helped his family's two-year-old golden retriever, Sophie, learn to swim at last year’s Drool in the Pool canine swim at the Oglebay pool. Drool in the Pool returns this year to close out the Labor Day weekend activities on Monday, September 2 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Because it was so popular last year “Drool in the Pool” at the Oglebay Outdoor pool will return this year on Monday 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. 

Click here for the Drool in the Pool release form.  Rules:   

  1. All owners must have proof of their dog’s current Rabies vaccination.
  2. All dogs must be current on all other vaccinations: Parvovirus (CPV), Canine distemper virus (CDV), Canine adenovirus (CAV).
  3. One human is permitted in the pool with one dog.
  4. No human swimming – wading only.
  5. No one under 16 may wade in the pool.
  6. Participants who are pregnant or have compromised immune systems may not enter the pool.
  7. No dogs or humans with open wounds may enter the pool.
  8. Activity is confined to the shallow end of the pool.
  9. Owners are responsible for any and all accidents and injury to their own dog.
  10. Vicious or aggressive dogs may be required to leave.
  11. Retractable leashes are not permitted.
  12. Dogs must be clean and brushed before entering the pool.
  13. Owners must pick up their dog’s waste.
  14. Participants must bath after the event.