Create a Little Fun

The creative juices will be flowing in the Friendly City today as the third-annual Arts Fest takes over downtown Wheeling.

From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., visitors will be able to indulge in a variety of arts-related activities, including browsing the open-air Artist Market in front of West Virginia Northern Community College’s B&O Building, attending a creative writing workshop led by West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman at the Ohio County Public Library and enjoying a diverse lineup of music and dance performances at two different stages.

And for the first time, the Arts Fest will feature free art classes for adults on the basics of bookbinding, jewelry making, ceramics and acrylic collage. Organizers continue to add offerings each year as word spreads about the event.

“People are getting really excited about it. We’re starting to get a Pittsburgh audience, and it’s starting to become a big thing,” Wheeling Arts and Cultural Commission Chairwoman Erika Donaghy said.

Arts Fest is something the whole family can get into, with plenty for children to do, including lessons in sewing, painting, clay sculpture, printmaking and a series of presentations focusing on “music and movement,” Donaghy said.

In addition to everything taking place on College Square, activities at the library include an 11 a.m. presentation on the history of dance in the Ohio Valley by the Heritage Dance Association, Harshman’s workshop at 1 p.m. and a 2:30 p.m. presentation of songs and poems of the Civil War and West Virginia statehood. West Virginia Independence Hall will host performances by the Allegro Dance Company at 1 p.m., followed by West Liberty University’s Hilltop Opera at 2:30 p.m.

For a complete lineup of performances and activities, visit WesBanco is the presenting sponsor for this year’s event, Donaghy said.