WHEELING - The 35th annual Oglebayfest kicks off Friday at Oglebay Park with a focus on health education for children on Saturday.
During the three days of festivities there will be music, dance, glass blowing, food, crafts, a country fair and gentle animals. The Oglebayfest parade is set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Good Zoo, and a fireworks display at Schenk Lake happens at 8 p.m. Saturday.
"You see families, friends and great entertainment at Oglebayfest," said Caren Knoyer, marketing director for Oglebay Park. "There's also delicious food. It's one of the best events at Oglebay."
Glass artisan Taylor Kelly will present glassblowing demonstrations on the lawn of the Mansion Museum during Oglebayfest.
The Phil Maxwell Artists’ and Gourmet Markets will have an abundance of talented artisans displaying a variety of goods during this year’s Oglebayfest.
Oglebayfest is a lead in to the park's popular "Festival of Lights" during the holiday season. The lights will be turned on at Oglebay this year on Nov. 9, Knoyer noted.
- The Good Zoo at the park will play host Saturday to a variety of events sponsored by The Health Plan. A variety of events and games there will help children learn more about asthma, the importance of washing their hands, exercise and eating healthy. The Wheeling Fire Department's fire safety house also will be on site.
The health-related events take place at the Good Zoo from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Admission to the zoo will be free on Saturday during Oglebayfest, and free wristbands will be provided to all those coming to the zoo that day.
The free wristbands will provide all day use on Saturday of Par III golf, miniature golf, pedal boats, fishing, tennis, the glass museum and craftsman center, the trolley, the Mansion Museum and the Schrader Environmental Education Center.
- The Phil Maxwell Artists' and Gourmet Markets will be located in the Mansion Woods next to the Mansion Museum. The market offers a view of local artists' works, as well as a selection of local and regional foods. Both markets will be open noon to 7 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Sunday.
- Activities also will be happening at the The Rathskeller, located at Hess Shelter, during Oglebayfest. Food served there will include German favorites grilled bratwurst, knackwurst and sauerkraut. The Harvest Carnival at the Wagon Shed returns with fun foods including cotton candy, funnel cakes, corn dogs and fried Oreos. Food will be served at the Rathskeller and Harvest Carnival on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. next Sunday.
- The Ohio County Country Fair will be at Site 1 during Oglebayfest and will feature displays of elaborate quilts, homegrown foods and gentle animals on Saturday and next Sunday. The country fair offers a variety of traditional fair demonstrations and competitions for all ages - including quilting demonstrations, butter making, hog calling, fiddling, rock throwing and baby crawling competitions.
The country fair is also host to the West Virginia Pony Pull Championship from noon to 4 p.m. next Sunday. A baked goods auction will also be held both Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Another popular Oglebayfest attraction, the Belgian horse display, will be at Site 1 on both Saturday and Sunday.
The Country Kitchen and the Ohio County Country Fair will start serving food at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday at Levenson Shelter and Site One. Hot soup, sandwiches and pie will be available at the Garden Center. Snacks and sandwiches will be available at the Good Zoo, Schenk Lake and the Artists' Market Woods, and fudge, candy and beverages will be available at Gourmet in the Gardens.
- The Ihlenfeld Dining Room at Wilson Lodge has several special menus and buffets during Oglebayfest - including the Seafood Buffet on Friday and the Prime Rib Buffet on Saturday. Both buffets are available from 5:30-10 p.m. Brunch is offered in the dining room next Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations for the dining room can be made by calling 304-243-4080.
Entertainment at Wilson Lodge includes Dustin McCray in Hickman Lounge from 7-10 p.m. Friday; Markus & James in the Hickman Lounge from 7-10 p.m. Saturday; and Mansfield 5 from 7:30-10 p.m. Saturday in Glessner Auditorium.
- The Cabin Fever String Band will perform at the free square dance at Levenson Shelter from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, and there also will be entertainment at Haller Shelter this year.
On Friday from 7-8:30 p.m. the Marsh Wheeling String Band will perform at the Haller Shelter, and the Legend Band takes the stage from 8:30-11:30 p.m. On Saturday, Uncle Eddie & Robin Band will entertain from 7-8:30 p.m., and Smoke Daddy and the Crawfish perform from 8:30-11:30 p.m. Haller Shelter is for ages 21 and over, and admission is free.