The area’s premier fall festival, Oglebayfest, begins on Friday, October 5 and continues through Sunday, October 7, 2012 at Oglebay. “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 the Wheeling Park Commission.
The Health Plan will again be joining in the festivities at this year’s Oglebayfest with fun and educational activities for health and wellness at the Good Zoo on Saturday October 6 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission to the Good Zoo will be free on Saturday at this year’s Oglebayfest and free wristbands will be provided to all those coming to the zoo that day. “Not only can you see more than 50 species of animals, you receive a free wristband and can enjoy fun and wellness activities provided by The Health Plan,” said Hargleroad. The Health Plan will present: Block the Sun, Not the Fun, Asthma, Germ City Handwashing, Who’s a Bully, Jump for Fun, Driving Under the Influence, Healthy Snack and Fire Safety.
“Fire Safety will be presented in cooperation with the Wheeling Fire Department so come meet local firefighters and practice getting out of a smoke-filled house,” added Hargleroad.
The free wristbands will provide all day use on Saturday of Par III Golf, Miniature Golf, Pedal Boats, Fishing, Tennis, Glass Museum & Craftsman Center, Trolley, Mansion Museum and Environmental Education Center.
The Phil Maxwell Artists’ and Gourmet Markets will be located in the Mansion Woods next to the Mansion Museum. The markets have been named for Phil Maxwell who served as Craft Specialist for Oglebay Institute from 1935 until his retirement in 1986. Maxwell continues to be active and supportive of all the Institute’s programs. He is past president of the West Virginia Art and Craft Guild and was inducted into the Art and Craft Hall of Fame in 1996. Maxwell organized the first arts and craft show for Oglebayfest and has provided scholarships for two “up and coming” artists and craftsman at the Oglebayfest markets. The Phil Maxwell Artists’ and Gourmet Markets offer 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 will be at Site One during Oglebayfest and features displays of elaborate quilts, homegrown foods and gentle animals on Saturday and Sunday. The Country Fair offers a variety of traditional fair demonstrations and competitions for all ages including quilting demonstrations, butter making, hog calling, fiddling, rock throwing and baby crawling competitions. The Country Fair is also host to the West Virginia Pony Pull Championship on Sunday afternoon. A baked goods auction will also be held both Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
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 Phil Maxwell serving as Grand Marshall. An electrifying fireworks display will light up the evening sky over Schenk Lake at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday.
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 Buffet on Friday and the Prime Rib Buffet on Saturday. Both buffets are available from 5:30 to 10:00 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 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. in Glessner Auditorium.
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 cotton candy, funnel cakes, corn dogs and fried oreos. 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 and Steve Grkman.
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 Gourmet in the Gardens.
New this year is entertainment at Haller Shelter. On Friday from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. the Marsh Wheeling String Band will perform and Legend Band takes the stage from 8:30 to 11:30 pm. On Saturday from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Uncle Eddie & Robin Band will entertain and Smoke Daddy and the Crawfish perform from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Haller Shelter is for ages 21 and over and admission is free.
Cabin Fever String Band will perform at the free Square Dance at Levenson Shelter on Friday from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
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, Gourmet in the Gardens Shop, and the Speidel Pro Shop at the Hamm Clubhouse. Carriage House Glass is featuring West Virginia Artisan Glass.
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. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Schrader Environmental Center will exhibit hundreds of paintings completed by “en plein air” artists at Oglebay the previous weekend.
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.