Can’t Stop the Feeling This New Year’s Eve

Ringing in the New Year requires a lot of planning and preparation for two local destinations.

Occasional popping sounds could be heard Friday as a crew of balloon artists was busy transforming Oglebay Park’s Glessner Auditorium into a balloon wonderland in preparation for the park’s colorful New Year’s Eve family celebration Sunday evening, while workers at nearby Wheeling Island Hotel Casino-Racetrack were in full decorating mode, as well.

David Weiss, a certified balloon artist and co-owner of Airheads Balloon Art said his crews arrived at Oglebay on Thursday and will continue making balloon creations and decorations inside Wilson Lodge through today.

It is the seventh year in a row that the Pittsburgh-based company has been invited back to decorate Glessner Auditorium and other areas of Wilson Lodge for the park’s New Year’s Eve celebration.

Weiss said it always takes his company several days to decorate the auditorium because it is such a large area to fill with a designated theme.

“We have a team of six here for about three days. It’s everything from the lobby entrance, to the ceiling’s balloon drop, the arches, the big big photo wall. There’s a lot of stuff for everybody to see,” Weiss said. “In addition to the 35-foot arches, the big balloon walls and the more traditional stuff, we are actually sculpting characters from (the movie ‘Trolls’),” he said.

Weiss said he enjoys being invited back year after year to decorate for the park’s end-of-year bash.

“This has been an awesome event. … Every year they come up with a different theme and they trust us to translate that into balloon decorations. … We get to stretch our creativity and it’s a lot of fun,” he said, noting his firm has done circus, pirates, sea and jungle themes in past years.

The family celebration at is already booked up for the evening, but limited availability remains for the resort’s Sparkling New Year’s Eve Dance Party for those 21 and older in Wilson Lodge’s Banquet View rooms.

Meanwhile, Carrie Scanion, Wheeling Island Hotel Casino-Racetrack senior director of marketing, said the casino starts planning for its New Year’s Eve celebration several months ahead of time and a tremendous amount of work is involved in the days leading up to the big event.

“This is something that is a multi-day event for us, and we’ve got two parties that happen here (on New Year’s Eve) in addition to live, free entertainment all day long. … It’s all hands on deck here for New Year’s Eve. … That’s the one thing about being an entertainment destination — it is big holidays like this we all chip in to make sure that our guests who come to celebrate here get the experience they deserve and that means we all pitch in.”

Scanion said the casino will offer two separate parties — one in the showroom from 8:30 p.m. Sunday to 12:30 a.m. Monday and one in the terrace area from 5-9 p.m. Sunday. Reservations for both are still available.