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Festival of Trees Kicking Off Today at Stifel Center

Oglebay Institute’s Holiday Extravaganza Returns Through Nov. 20

Oglebay Institute’s Festival of Trees takes place Nov. 6-20 at the Stifel Fine Arts Center in Wheeling. Pictured are Oglebay Institute director of administrative services Connie Moore, left, holding a painting by Candace McCarthy, and OI development director Micah Underwood, right, holding a wreath decorated by Rebecca Niess. Trees in the background were decorated by (left) Shelia Maloney, (center) Sharon Stapleton and (right) Nancy A. Baker, Nancy J. Baker, Angela Merinar, Gayle McAdoo and Patty Lafferty, in memory of Carol E. Parker.

WHEELING –Oglebay Institute welcomes back the popular holiday Festival of Trees starting today, Friday, Nov. 6, and continuing through Nov. 20 at the Stifel Fine Arts Center in Wheeling.

During OI’s Festival of Trees, the Stifel Center is transformed into a Christmas wonderland of trees, wreaths and garlands decorated by creative and skilled volunteers. All items are for sale and proceeds benefit Oglebay Institute’s arts, cultural and nature programs.

Visitors can also shop the Holiday Art Show and Sale, a holiday shopping event featuring hundreds of handcrafted items from dozens of artisans who set up shop in the Stifel Center for the coming holiday season.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional opening reception will not take place. However, event organizers have planned special guided tours of the festival from 5-8 p.m. today, Friday, Nov. 6 and 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7.

Each tour will be led by OI board members. A complimentary drink at the bar is included with additional drinks available for purchase. Each tour is limited to 20 people to allow for proper social distancing among guests. Tours are free, but pre-registration is required.

Oglebay Institute development director Micah Underwood stands by a tree decorated by Stifel Center pottery students Shirley Wilson, Pam Frye, Robin Pflasterer, Michael Arameish and Cecile Harris for OI’s annual Festival of Trees, which takes place Nov. 6-20 at the Stifel Fine Arts Center.

“While we’ve had to forgo some of our Festival of Trees traditions this year, we are excited to share new ways for people to enjoy the exceptional work of our dedicated decorators,” OI development director Micah Underwood said. “Whether at a private, guided tour on opening weekend or online with a special video tour, people can celebrate the season with us in the way that feels safest for them. They can even buy their favorite tree without leaving their favorite chair.”

Festival of Trees remains on display through Nov. 20 with hours from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Festival of Trees is sponsored by Belmont Savings Bank with additional support from Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration and is made possible by the volunteer decorators who donated their time and talent.

Festival of Trees 2020 decorators include: Michael Arameish, Nancy A. Baker, Nancy J. Baker, Patty Burgess, Mary Fahey/Wheeling Rotary Club, Pam Frye, Cecile Harris, Noah Hilton, Pat Lafferty, Lynn Maguire/Kruger St. Toy & Train Museum, Sheila Maloney, Gayle McAdoo, Candace McCarthy, Amanda Medovic, Ivan and Debbie Myles, Angela Merinar, Rebecca Niess, Kelsey Ohler, Lori Ohler, Robin Pflasterer, Betsy Phillips, Ron & Christine Sacco, Margo Scott/Youth Services System/Wheeling Kiwanis Club, Rachel Shipley/Wheeling Middle School, Therese Stacey, Sharon Stapleton, Glenndora Pesta, Chris and Bob Villamagna, Shirley Wilson and Kim Young.

“This event only happens through the creative partnership among our sponsors, volunteer decorators from throughout the region and OI staff,” Underwood said.

Festival of Trees volunteer decorators Betsy Phillips and Therese Stacey, from left, work on their holiday tree in the Stifel Center living room.

“We are truly fortunate to have such a generous and enthusiastic community.”

For more information on Festival of Trees or to register for opening weekend guided tours, visit www.oionline.com or call 304-242-7700.

Festival of Trees volunteer decorators Chris and Robert Villamagna work on their holiday tree in the Stifel Center dining room.

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