Oglebayfest Parade Launches Fall Festival

WHEELING – Hundreds of people lined the roads of Oglebay Park Saturday to watch this year’s Oglebayfest parade at the annual fall festival.

Parade coordinator Janet Wodesky said more than 35 organizations participated, including fire and emergency squads from throughout the Wheeling area.

Ron Hobbs, who retired last month after 41 years as a member of the Wheeling Park Commission, served as parade grand marshal. He was chauffeured through the parade route in a vintage 1938 Packard 12, owned and driven by Ed Stifel.

“We had the Wheeling High School Marching Band, Ohio County 4H members, all the fire and rescue vehicles and many others,” Wodesky said. “It’s not as big as the Winter Festival of Lights parade, but it is getting bigger and better every year.”

Oglebayfest began in 1978 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Oglebay Park. This year’s event featured the Ohio County Country Fair, with displays of elaborate quilts, homegrown foods and animals.

The fair offers a variety of traditional demonstrations and competitions for all ages, including quilting demonstrations, a 4-H rabbit show and auction, butter making, hog calling, fiddling, rock throwing and baby crawling competitions. It is also host to the West Virginia Pony Pull Championship and the baked goods auction.

Saturday’s parade through the park, along with the Schenk Lake fireworks later in the evening, attracted hundreds festival goers.

The Phil Maxwell Artists’ and Gourmet Market offered regional foods and an extensive display of handcrafted wares and a chance to see some of the tri-state’s best artisans at work.

The Country Kitchen and the Ohio County Country Fair served up goodies at Levenson Shelter and Site One. Hot soup, sandwiches and pie were at the Garden Center, while snacks and sandwiches could be found at the Good Zoo, Schenk Lake and the Artists’ Market Woods. All the Oglebay shops remained open during during the festival, including Carriage House Glass, the Nature Express Shop at the Good Zoo, the Palm Room, Wheeling Civic Center Garden Center, Farmhouse Sweets & Treats Shoppe and the Speidel Pro Shop at the Hamm Clubhouse.

Oglebayfest continues through today throughout the park.