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.

Good Zoo Master Naturalists conducting Monarch Research

 

Master Naturalist at Oglebay Good Zoo

A monarch butterfly is tagged by Zoo Master Naturalist Carol Sasseen just before being released. Classes are held at the zoo on Saturdays and Sundays and often involve walks in the woods and occasional field trips to a farm, university, woodlands or streams.

Monarch butterfly populations are plummeting nationwide, and a federal petition was filed yesterday by environmental groups, urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect them under the Endangered Species Act.  Good Zoo director Penny Miller said zoo staff and zoo Master Naturalists are part of a project to study the decline, and to create more milkweed habitat to support the butterflies.  Good Zoo Master Naturalists study, rear, tag and release monarchs prior to their migration to Mexico for the winter; they also raise and plant several species of milkweed in home gardens, local farms, and in locations throughout Oglebay Resort including golf courses, the Good Zoo, resort gardens and at the Schrader Center.

 

Any area residents interested in learning more about the monarch project and many other citizen scientist projects can attend Master Naturalist classes that begin September 6, 2014.  Classes cost just $6 per hour of instruction and under $400 for the entire certification program; students participate at their own pace and take up to three years to complete the program, or finish in one year. The fall classes are held at the Good Zoo or West Liberty University on Saturdays and Sundays. Fall classes include Terrestrial and Aquatic Habitats; Screech Owls; Insects; Dressing for the Outdoors in Winter, and more.

Classes can be taken in any order, and students can join the program by enrolling in any class.

 

Students are all nature lovers and represent a wide range of ages and backgrounds from college students, teachers, scout leaders, farmers, fisherman, to retired folks and nature photographers. “Anyone of any age or background fits into the group, you just have to be a nature lover,” said Vickie Markey-Tekely, the zoo’s curator of education.

 

Spring 2015 classes will include core classes by area naturalist Dr Scott Shalaway teaching WV Birds; Bill Beatty teaching Trees; Wildflowers; and Medicinal Plants. Electives taught by Good Zoo staff include WV otters; Box Turtles; Monarch Butterfly Conservation; and many more.

 

Master Naturalist Daniel Caron said, “The program is a fun and interesting way to learn about nature.  I enjoy the program’s interactive, hands-on format.  The classes teach me to see something different every time I step outside.”

 

Students conduct 16 hours of volunteer work on nature projects of their own choosing in order to become certified. “Our students participate in backyard bird projects, put up bluebird boxes, survey and report frog calls, raise and tag monarch butterflies, and improve their garden and property to attract wildlife,” said Penny Miller, zoo director. “Others like to help out at state or zoo wildlife events, or pass on their knowledge to children,” she said.  “I enjoy teaching my grandkids and neighbors about the monarch butterflies I rear and tag,” said certified Master Naturalist Carol Saseen.

 

The curriculum was developed by the West Virginia Division of Wildlife to develop citizen scientists and naturalists across the state. Students from Ohio and Pennsylvania are welcome to participate also.

 

Those interested in learning more can visit the www.oglebay-resort.com/goodzoo or by calling Vickie Markey-Tekely at 304-243-4033 or Penny Miller at 304-243-4027.