Fourth of July Fireworks, Events Still Planned in Ohio Valley
WHEELING – After Wheeling’s beloved annual Fourth of July concert at Heritage Port was canceled in late May in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions, there were concerns that local communities would have no way to celebrate the holiday together.
However, residents of the Ohio Valley will still have several opportunities this weekend to enjoy firework displays and live music.
Oglebay Park will hold its annual celebration on Friday at Schenk Lake. Guests to the park will be able to enjoy a live performance by local band Hit Play from 6-9:30 p.m. A fireworks display will follow directly after, which attendees can view from multiple locations in and around the park. There will also be inflatables, balloon art and a rock climbing wall for children to enjoy at the lake from 3:30-8:30 p.m.
Marketing Director Lindsay McGlaughlin said the park is encouraging guests to maintain proper social distancing while enjoying the park’s festivities. Previous firework displays at Oglebay this summer celebrating Memorial Day and Father’s Day received an “exceptional response” from the community, McGlaughlin said, so she hopes the events this weekend will have comparable success.
“With the usual celebration at Heritage Port canceled this year, we are hoping to fill that void by allowing the community to celebrate here at the park,” she said.
Oglebay will also host additional live music performances over the weekend. On Saturday, the band Blended Reality will perform from 7-9 p.m. at Schenk Lake. Eli Lambi and the Mojo Kings will perform Sunday from 7-9 p.m. at the park’s outdoor amphitheatre.
The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra will also provide a series of live performances Saturday throughout Wheeling for the general public to enjoy. The WSO Brass on the Go Ensemble will start the day with a performance at 11 a.m. at Garden Park in Warwood. The group will then perform at 12:15 p.m. at Dimmeydale Park in Dimmeydale and at 1:30 p.m. at Bridge Park on Wheeling Island. Each performance will run for a half-hour and is free to attend.
This string of performances is meant to be a substitute for the usual symphony performance at Heritage Port that was canceled after concerns over public safety, said Bryan Braunlich, the general manager at WSO.
“We knew we (still) wanted to perform for the community if the guidelines would allow,” said Braunlich. “We are so excited that our brass ensemble will be popping-up throughout Wheeling, playing some wonderful patriotic music.”
Braunlich said the symphony encourages audience members to follow social distancing guidelines and wear facial coverings.
The 36th annual Independence Day Extravaganza at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Wheeling will be held this year online. The concert program of patriotic songs will feature a variety of guest musicians. The event, which is normally held at the church, will be posted Friday on the church’s YouTube channel.
There are also several other upcoming fireworks displays and holiday celebrations for the public to enjoy. A list of events, including time and location, can be found below:
* Steubenville: July 2 at dusk, following live performances starting at 7 p.m.
* Wellsburg: July 3 at dusk. The boxcar-style race will be held at 9 a.m. July 4 on Fourth Street.
* New Martinsville: Arts in the Park event at Bruce Park from 1-4 p.m. July 4. The event will include arts and crafts demonstrations, art exhibits, and food for purchase.
* Barnesville: July 4 at dusk. Fireworks will be set off at an undisclosed location but will be visible throughout the community.
* The Highlands: July 4 at dusk. Guests can park anywhere to view the display.
* Moundsville: July 4 at dusk at the Marshall County Fairgrounds.