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Oglebay Institute Set for Holiday Season

By ALEC BERRY

Staff Writer

Holiday programming will decorate a few Oglebay Institute venues prior to year’s end, offering visitors an open invitation to performances and displays of visual art.

Events include the Oglebay Institute’s annual Holiday Art Show and Sale, the Nutcracker and Holidays at the Mansion.

More than 50 vendors will set up shop between the Stifel Fine Arts Center on National Road in Wheeling and the Schrader Environmental Education Center at Oglebay Park for the Holiday Art Show and Sale. They’ll offer hundreds of unique gifts from pottery and paintings, to jewelry, textiles, home decor and gourmet treats.

It opened Nov. 17 and will run through Dec. 30.

Misty Klug, director of marketing and communications for the Oglebay Institute, said the program is now a tradition for some who attend. For her, it’s a sign of the show being embraced as an alternative to the usual retail outlets people frequent for holiday gifts.

“Loyal attendees come ready to buy each year, knowing they can find one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on their list,” Klug said.

“The show also attracts new visitors each year, particularly people with an interest in shopping local and purchasing more personal gifts for their loved ones.”

She said the philosophy of shopping locally has extended beyond food, and now reflects items produced by area artisans.

The Oglebay Institute’s School of Dance will stage several productions of the beloved holiday classic “The Nutcracker” at the Mansion Museum and the Towngate Theatre. Each showing will include tea and photos with the cast. The dates for the Mansion Museum are Dec. 4, 11 and 18 at 1 and 3 p.m., while the Towngate Theatre will host the show on Dec. 26 at 3 and 7 p.m. and on Dec. 27 at 7 p.m.

Klug said the cast will wear beautiful costumes and dance on lavish sets to the famed Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s beloved score.

“This enchanting ballet features dancing flowers, flurries of snowflakes and beautiful fairies, and it will delight audiences of all ages,” she added.

The Towngate Theatre also will offer a staged production of “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” for two weekends, Dec. 2-4 and Dec. 9-11. Pre and post performance receptions will take place in the theatre’s lobby, which will be decked for the holidays.

“Each year attendance has grown, and we have engaged new actors,” Tim Thompson, director of performing arts for the Oglebay Institute, said. “The production has become a staple in the Oglebay Institute holiday lineup and a tradition among our patrons.”

To purchase tickets for either show, visit oionline.com or call 304-242-7700.

Lastly, the Mansion Museum at Oglebay Park will be decorated for holiday tours. Since 1973, the mansion, which was the summer home of wealthy industrialist and philanthropist Earl W. Oglebay, has been trimmed for the holidays by professional decorators and talented amateurs.

They will apply a specific theme to match the mansion’s 13 rooms, using special techniques to create stunning results. The decor will range from simple to extravagant.

For more information on any event mentioned, visit oionline.com.

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