Labor Day Brings Bevy of Activities to the Ohio Valley
As Labor Day approaches next weekend, area parks and attractions are gearing up for festivities, with a focus on the historical side.
With the Woodstock music festival having celebrated its 49th anniversary this month, the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra is bringing back the classic feeling. Guest artists Jeans ‘n Classics will be performing with the symphony for its annual Music Under the Stars program. The symphony’s “A Night at Woodstock” show will be held at 7:30 p.m. next Sunday at Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater at Wheeling’s Oglebay Park. The event is free and open to the public.
The orchestra and guest artists will perform material by Crosby, Stills & Nash; The Who; Janis Joplin; Santana; Jimi Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane, among many others.
“The original Woodstock music festival is nearing its 50th anniversary and we thought, what better way to celebrate this amazing moment in music history than to invite our friends from Jeans ‘n Classics to perform their program, ‘A Night at Woodstock,'” said Bruce Wheeler, executive director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. “Whether you love the music or want to celebrate Labor Day with family and friends, come and support your Wheeling Symphony through this joyous celebration of peace, love and harmony.”
Prior to the event, the Wheeling Symphony auxiliary is holding its annual Veranda reception on the Burton Porch near the amphitheater. There is a cost to attend the reception.
Also next weekend, the Oglebay Woodcarvers Show, sponsored by the Oglebay Woodcarvers Guild of Wheeling, will return Oglebay Park for the 39th year. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and next Sunday, the free event will allow the public to see intricate wood sculptures and carvings of local and visiting artisans. The event will be held in the Pine Room adjacent to the outdoor pool.
This year, the event will host guest carver Shawn Cipa, a professional carver from Burgettstown, who will display folk art-style carvings. Cipa has written five books, one of which was used by the Oglebay club to carve a 15-piece manger set for a Nativity scene in the folk art style.
On the lawn of the Pine Room, chainsaw carving artist Jeff Roscoe of Flushing will use the tools of his trade to transform logs into carved bears, lighthouses and owls, among other items. His creations will be available for purchase.
Oglebay also plays host to Fort Henry Days, a colonial re-enactment of life in the area from when Wheeling was a frontier community. The Battle of Fort Henry, which celebrated its 235th anniversary last year, is commonly recognized as the last battle of the Revolutionary War.
Fort Henry Days is held at Oglebay Site 1 between 10 and 5 p.m. Saturday and next Sunday. Throughout the free event, informational lectures and demonstrations will be held on topics such as procuring wild medicine and artillery demonstrations, with cultural aspects of the period also being explored, such as 18th-century music, performances by the Heritage Dance Association and a Punch & Judy puppet show held several times each day.
Throughout Oglebay, other miscellaneous events will be held as part of the park’s Labor Day celebration, with attractions such as inflatables and a rock wall at Schenk Lake, fireworks next Sunday evening, and a fishing tournament from 9-11 a.m. on Labor Day, alongside a miniature golf tournament from 10 a.m. to noon.
Wheeling’s Heritage Port will be the site for the Vintage Raceboat Regatta for the 13th year, starting Friday. Pilots of vintage hydroplanes and raceboats will come together to race on the Ohio River at speeds between 60 and 140 mph. The regatta brings raceboat enthusiasts to the area each year to race their watercraft at high speeds, come rain or shine. This year’s regatta is sponsored by WesBanco.
Elsewhere in the Ohio Valley, the Operation Helping Heroes Music Festival will start at noon Saturday at Chase Field in Bellaire. Profits from the show will benefit the Friends of the Pittsburgh Fisher House. Performing at the festival will be area acts such as Highland Rose, Resistance 13, DB Rocker, and Still Kick’in.
Closing out the weekend, the sixth annual Drool at the Pool at 5 p.m. on Labor Day marks the end of the weekend as well as the closure of Oglebay’s outdoor pool for the season. For two hours, area residents are invited and encouraged to bring their dogs to the pool to swim off the last of their summer energy.