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Holiday Festivals, Parades Set

November 15, 2009
Linda Comins

Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us. With the opening of both the Winter Festival of Lights and the Festival of Trees at Oglebay Park this weekend and the Fantasy in Lights parade next weekend, there is no doubt that it's time to celebrate the holidays.

Walking toward Oglebay's Wilson Lodge on a warm autumn evening, one might be thinking about the OTHER approaching holiday (Thanksgiving), but upon entering the beautifully decorated lodge, a visitor is immersed immediately into a veritable winter wonderland. Smiling, the guest realizes that, yes, Christmas is just around the corner, and, yes, it's a good feeling! The sight of the bedecked entryway, along with a decorated mantel above the lobby fireplace and many pine trees, illuminated by light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs and placed throughout Glessner Auditorium, set a festive tone for all who enter the lodge.

Traveling through the park, the holiday lighting displays create a bright, cheerful atmosphere. Each year, more displays are illuminated with LED bulbs, which feature more vivid colors than conventional bulbs, while using less electricity in the process.

Oglebay officials launched the 25th annual Winter Festival of Lights with a gala reception in Glessner Auditorium Thursday evening, Nov. 12. This year's lighting show is sponsored by the Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley. As a surprise treat for the 25th anniversary celebration, a recorded video message from "Today Show" personality Willard Scott, who had been a special guest for the one of the early editions of the festival, was shown. J.C. Douglas Dalby, chief executive officer of Oglebay, said that when contacted about having the celebrity weatherman record a message for the festival, an NBC official said there was no need to send a script because Scott probably wouldn't follow it anyway!

It's a great sign for the viability of the Capitol Theatre in Wheeling that the performance of "Stomp," the first show in the new Broadway at the Capitol sreies, was sold out Tuesday, Nov. 10. More than 2,000 tickets were sold in advance, and all of the remaining tickets were purchased by walk-up customers prior to showtime. Theater-goers were impressed and thrilled to see such a huge crowd in attendance.

Meawhile, tickets for "The Drowsy Chaperone," the next musical in the series, go on sale Monday, Nov. 16, at the WesBanco Arena box office and all Ticketmaster locations. "The Drowsy Chaperone," winner of five Tony Awards, will be performed at the Capitol Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12.

Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at:

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