Sending Summer Out in Style

Labor Day Festivities Planned in Wheeling

File Photo Boats prepare for a heat at the Wheeling Vintage Raceboat Regatta at Heritage Port last year.

WHEELING — This Labor Day weekend, Ohio Valley residents and visitors alike will have the chance to watch daredevils cruise the Ohio River at a breakneck pace, witness a re-enactment of Betty Zane’s famed gunpowder run, view the work of skilled woodcrafters and enjoy “music under the stars” at Oglebay.

As always, Wheeling will send summer out in style with a full slate of events, including the Wheeling Vintage Raceboat Regatta, Fort Henry Days, the Oglebay Woodcarvers’ Guild Show and a free performance at Oglebay by the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra.

And thanks to a new shuttle service sponsored by the Wheeling-Ohio County Convention and Visitors Bureau, event-goers won’t have to choose between local history, adventure and music. Ohio County school buses will be available to take visitors from Heritage Port to Oglebay and vice-versa.

Wheeling Vintage Raceboat Regatta —

Heritage Port

The Wheeling Vintage Raceboat Regatta will start off the weekend Friday with 10 a.m. raceboat registration and Heritage Port pits opening to the public until 5 p.m. The event will kick off Saturday with a 9:45 a.m. opening ceremony. At 10 a.m. heats of vintage hydroplanes and raceboats will be held on the Ohio River until river traffic opens back up to the public at noon. During the break in the action there will be live music by Gregg Molnar, and children’s activities will be held throughout the day.

Heats will resume from 2-6 p.m., and the event will continue Sept. 3 following the same schedule.

Debbie Joseph, co-director of the regatta, said the event, now in its 12th year, is a perfect opportunity to showcase the city of Wheeling to travelers. Festival favorites like gyros and blooming onions will be available for purchase through vendors, along with tasty treats like pie and ice cream.

And the event benefits the local Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center on National Road.

“It’s been an amazing experience to bring something so different to the city of Wheeling that really uses Heritage Port and the river as an activity and not just a backdrop,” Joseph said. “We have enjoyed bringing all our friends to the community. Many have come back during the off-season to stay at Oglebay or attend other events they didn’t get to see while they were at the regatta.”

Fort Henry Days — Oglebay Park, Site One

The Fort Henry Living History Board will celebrate the 235th anniversary of the 1782 Revolutionary War battle during Fort Henry Days at Oglebay’s Site One, held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sept. 3.

According to board Executive Director Sue Weigand, more than 200 people are expected to attend the event as battle re-enactors for the event, which will also include 18th-century games, skits and more.

“I think it not only teaches children but their parents, as well, about our history. The event lets you engage yourself in the 18th century,” Weigand said. “It’s like you went in a time machine to the 1700s. Everything is as authentic as possible, like going back in time. We never really know what will happen and during the skits and we always try to surprise the public.”

Joe Roxby, Ohio County magistrate and Fort Henry battle enthusiast, will co-host “Walk & Talk: First Siege of Fort Henry” with writer and artist Alan Fitzpatrick Thursday.

The event, presented by the Wheeling Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Fort Henry Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre.

“In a lot of ways those battles fortified who we are as people,” Roxby said. “This makes history three-dimensional.”

Oglebay Woodcarver’s Guild Show — Pine Room

A variety of new carvers will be featured in the upcoming Woodcarvers’ Guild Show, to be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sept. Sept. 3 at the Oglebay Pine Room. Free admission to the public includes an opportunity for prizes along with displays on various forms of woodcarving.

According to Joseph Hodorowski of Bellaire, secretary of the Woodcarvers Guild, the 2017 event will welcome Martin Schnur, a professional carver from Comstock Park, Mich. Schnur, who utilizes wood carving, sculpture, wood burning and airbrush painting, will display his three-dimensional, naturally finished works, which feature fish in their natural aquatic surroundings.

Other first-time exhibitors include Sherrie Clark of Bellevue, Ohio; John Broughton of Dayton, Ky.; Bridges Dillehay of Madison, Tenn.; and Janet Ellis of Butler, Pa.

All visitors will be given a free raffle ticket for a carved prize with one winner drawn every hour of the show.

Wood and tool sales will also be held.

A longtime woodcarver himself, Hodorowski will display his own works during the event, as well.

“I make a wide range of items, but characters of animals and humans are what I enjoy. I will also have crosses on display,” Hodorowski said. “The uniqueness of the displays is impressive. There are some very talented people from our area and outside of it coming to the event.”

Music Under The Stars — Oglebay Park, Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater

Also at Oglebay, the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra will present “Music Under the Stars,” its annual free Labor Day Weekend concert, at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3.

Andre Raphel will conduct the all-orchestral program at Oglebay Park in the Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater.

The program will include highlights from George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” and “Promenade,” Bertstein’s “Mambo” from “West Side Story” and “Adventures on Earth” from “E.T.,” by John Williams.


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