Oglebayfest Welcomes Fall
Artists’ and gourmet market among many attractions
WHEELING — As Oglebay Park officials welcome thousands of visitors this weekend to celebrate the wonders of fall at this year’s Oglebayfest, dozens of the tri-state’s most skilled artisans will serve up a variety of regional foods and an extensive display of fine, handcrafted wares with live demonstrations during the Phil Maxwell Artists’ and Gourmet Market.
The artisans spent time Friday morning setting up along a path leading through Mansion Woods next to the Mansion Museum in Oglebay Park just before a ribbon cutting ceremony officially opened the 42nd annual Oglebayfest presented by Wheeling Hospital.
Mansion Woods also features a robust live entertainment schedule, sponsored by the Wheeling Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Wheeling Arts & Cultural Commission through Sunday afternoon.
The market is just one of many events and activities scheduled at different sites around the park this weekend.
Rick Morgan, director of the Stifel Fine Arts Center, said there are 88 vendors participating in his year’s artists’ and gourmet market, and every year they try to bring in some new vendors in an effort to keep the event fresh.
Whether it’s pottery, paintings, jewelry, wooden carvings or West Virginia wines — vendors offer a wide variety of items to choose from at this year’s market.
“I think people are ready for some cooler weather and I think that will encourage more people to come out,” Morgan explained. “Please come up. … We have live music that will be playing the whole run of the show.”
Eriks Janelsins, Oglebay Foundation president and CEO said Ogebayfest is a great “community homecoming.”
“As we celebrate 42 years, we remember that it was originally created as a ‘thank you’ to the community,” Janelsins explained.
Aaron Anslow, who operates Earthsmith Studio of Bethany along with Justin Campbell, was busy setting up their ceramic clay pottery stand along the busy path of artisans this morning. Anslow said this is the fourth time he has been a participating vendor at Oglebayfest and he thoroughly enjoys being a part of the fall community event.
“It’s really incredible to meet other people and other vendors,” Anslow commented.
Keith Finger with Mountain Momma Organics of MacFarlan, Ritchie County, echoed some of Anslow’s comments about Oglebayfest being one of his favorite annual festivals.
“This is an awesome festival. I look forward to it every year. It is one one of my top five out of the 35 shows I do in eight states,” he explained. “It’s a great show, great people, and a very loyal customer base. It doesn’t matter what the weather is, the people come out and they love it.”
In addition to the Artists’ and Gourmet Market, the Ohio County Country Fair, located at Site 1 and Levenson Shelter near the Good Zoo, runs in conjunction with the festival though Sunday.
The fair offers a variety of traditional fair demonstrations and competitions: including, quilting demonstrations, butter making, hog calling, fiddling, rock throwing and baby crawling competitions. The fair also features displays of elaborate quilts, homegrown foods, and gentle animals.
Other activities and events scheduled throughout the weekend include:
∫ The Oglebayfest parade is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. today at the Oglebay Good Zoo, and an electrifying fireworks display is scheduled to light up the night sky over Schenk Lake at 8 p.m., today.
∫ Live entertainment is also being provided daily at The German-style Rathskeller, located at Hess Shelter just above the playground. The Rathskeller is one of Oglebayfest’s most popular destinations. This German-style beer garden offers dozens of seasonal and domestic brews paired with German favorites such as bratwurst, sauerkraut, German potato salad, herbed spaetzle, and more.
∫ The Oglebayfest 5k Run/Walk is scheduled for 9 a.m., Sunday, with the race beginning and ending at the Oglebay Good Zoo. Registration for the event ended on Friday. Awards will be presented to top finishers.
In addition, Oglebay’s parking and shuttle service will offer free parking and complimentary shuttle service to transport guests to a variety of key locations including Schenk Lake, Good Zoo, Mansion Museum, The Hilltop, Crispin Center and Wilson Lodge. For a complete schedule of Oglebayfest events, visit www.oglebay.com/oglebayfest.