Three Days Packed With Fun Set for Wheeling on Memorial Day Weekend

THREE DAYS OF FUN KICK OFF SUMMER

WHEELING — A wide variety of activities and services are planned throughout the Ohio Valley for Memorial Day weekend.

For a new event, a Memorial Day walk through Greenwood Cemetery, 1526 National Road, will begin at 9 a.m. Monday, May 27. The event, which is free and open to the public, is being organized by the Ohio Valley Civil War Roundtable and Friends of Wheeling.

A brief memorial ceremony will be offered, featuring Randall Reed-Smith, curator of the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History. After the ceremony, guided walks will be conducted through various sections of the cemetery.

Guides will provide biographical information on Union and Confederate veterans who are buried at Greenwood. Participants will place white roses on the graves of the Civil War veterans.

Among those to be remembered are six men who were killed in action; at least five men who served as surgeons during the war, along with one Union nurse; a man who claimed to have fired the second shot of the war at Fort Sumter; the first Union soldier wounded at the Battle of Philippi (the first land battle of the war) and several survivors of both Union and Confederate prison camps.

Another Civil War-related remembrance is planned at 2 p.m. on Memorial Day, when the Soldiers and Sailors Monument is rededicated on the lawn of West Virginia Independence Hall, 1528 Market St. The ceremony is open to the public.

Speakers for the event will be West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice; Reid-Smith; Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott; Debbie Jones, the hall’s site manager; Joe Laker, member and past president of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation; and John Powell, commander of American Legion Post 1 in Wheeling.

The ceremony will include the reading of an original poem by West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman of Wheeling. The poem, titled “Whose Lives Live On,” reflects upon the meaning of the statue and memorializes those who fought in the Civil War.

The monument, dedicated to local Union soldiers who died in the Civil War, was moved from Wheeling Park to the downtown site last year.

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument — which stood originally on the grounds of the old Ohio County courthouse at 16th and Chapline streets — was first dedicated on Memorial Day in 1883.

According to historical accounts, a crowd of 15,000 to 20,000 people attended that ceremony.

Oglebay Park’s Memorial Day weekend celebration begins Friday and continues through Monday, May 27. A variety of activities are planned, including a fireworks show at Schenk Lake at 9:15 p.m. Saturday. A “dive-in” movie will be shown at Wheeling Park’s swimming pool at 9 p.m. Saturday.

A Memorial Day weekend program, with the Oak Glen High School band, will be presented at Laurel Hollow Park, Newell, at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 26. The event is free and open to the public.

On Memorial Day, a commemorative service will begin at 10 a.m. in the Veterans Memorial Amphitheater at Wheeling’s Heritage Port.

In Steubenville, a Memorial Day commemoration will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Berkman Amphitheater, located on the grounds of Historic Fort Steuben. A free concert, featuring Phil Dirt and the Dozers, will follow at 7 p.m.

Also on Memorial Day, the 249th West W Army National Guard Band will perform a free concert at Follansbee City Park from 6-8 p.m.

The holiday weekend also marks the start of the summer concert season at many area venues.

A band called Crazy Horse will perform on Grand Vue Park’s outdoor stage in Moundsville from 7-8:30 p.m. Friday.

The Fantasies will present the opening free concert at the Weirton Event Center, 3322 East St., at 7 p.m. Friday.

A trio, featuring Jim Davison, Diane Davison and Onita Franks Lowe, will perform for a free concert at the Epworth Park auditorium, 215 N. Main St., Bethesda, at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Eli Lambie and the Mojo Kings will present a free concert at the Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater in Oglebay Park at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 26. A free concert, headlined by the Moonwalkers, will be offered at Aracoma Park in Mingo Junction from 6-9 p.m. Sunday, May 26.

For fans of comic books and action hero movies, the annual Mini-Con will be held at YWCA Wheeling, 1100 Chapline St., from noon-5 p.m. Saturday.

Several events related to Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon are planned Saturday in Wheeling. The activities include the Half Marathon Walk, beginning at 7:30 a.m.; the Half Marathon Run, with an 8 a.m. start; the 5K Run, beginning at 8:15 a.m.; the Walk for Health setting off at 8:20 a.m.; the Ogden Fun Run, starting at 8:20 a.m.; and the Tiny Tot Trot for the younger set at 10:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, the annual Wheeling Heritage Trail Bicycle Tour will commence at Heritage Port, 1201 Water St., at 8 a.m. Sunday, May 26. The event will last most of the day, depending on how far the bicyclists ride.

In addition, the inaugural Ogden Newspapers Tough as Nails Urban Challenge at various sites in downtown Wheeling starts at noon Sunday, May 26.

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