Linsly Celebrates 75 Years of Extravaganza

The 75th annual Linsly School Extravaganza will be staged at the Capitol Theatre, 1015 Main St., Wheeling, at 8 p.m. Friday, March 1.

With an outstanding performance planned to celebrate this milestone anniversary, Linsly officials invite guests to be transported through time, with this year’s show theme, “Everything Old is New Again.”

The longest-running variety show of its kind in the Ohio Valley, the Linsly Extravaganza has become an annual tradition with a rich history deeply rooted in the heritage of the city of Wheeling.

“With nearly 200 years of history dating back to before West Virginia was even chartered a state, Linsly is a school that values tradition,” said Linsly Headmaster Chad Barnett. “As we celebrate the 75th annual Linsly Extravaganza, we are reminded of the literally thousands of Linsly alumni who have walked across the stage of the Capitol Theatre, and the Virginia Theatre before that. The annual performance has become a shared experience for generations of alumni, who even 25 or 50 years later, continue to reminisce about their favorite acts or most memorable Extravaganza moments.”

The Extravaganza has not only become a Linsly tradition, but also an Ohio Valley tradition, dating back more than seven decades.

Records from the Linsly Museum and Archives indicate that the Linsly Literary Society sponsored musical and dramatic programs as early as the 1880s, which evolved into variety shows, plays and operettas in the 1930s. However, it wasn’t until 1939, under the direction of Douglas Haigwood, that the Linsly Minstrel was born, on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the school.