The city of Wheeling is gearing up for another summer full of events - including 50 free musical shows at Heritage Port and other parks.
During a press conference Monday, city spokeswoman Allison O'Konski said in addition to annual free fairs and festivals, Heritage Port along with Garden Park, Wheeling Park and Oglebay Park will host 50 total free live musical acts annually during the summer.
O'Konski noted a survey revealed residents' favorite events were those that were free. She thanked sponsors of such events, particularly the JP Morgan Chase Foundation and Chesapeake Energy, for their support.
Examples of free events include Friday movie nights at the port which kicks off at 8:30 p.m. June 7 with "Pitch Perfect," and includes; June 14, "Hunger Games"; June 21, "Lincoln"; July 12, ''Back to the Future"; and July 19, "Wreck-It-Ralph."
The annual Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic Run and Walk weekend of events also is slated May 24-25 in the downtown and at Heritage Port.
Waterfront Wednesdays concerts kick off June 5 and are held at 7 p.m. at Heritage Port. Toe Tappin' Tuesdays concerts begin June 11 and are held the second and fourth Tuesdays at Garden Park in Warwood. Toe Tappin' Tuesdays Too start June 4 and are held the first and third Tuesdays at Wheeling Park's amphitheater.
FULL 'SUMMER OF FUN' PLANNED
A full slate of events is planned through spring and summer in the city of Wheeling:
- May 2 - 6:30-8:30 p.m., National Day of Prayer, Heritage Port
- May 18 - 8 a.m to 2 p.m., Cystic Fibrosis Walk, Heritage Port
- May 24-25 - Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic Run and Walk, Heritage Port
- May 26 - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ohio Valley Trail Partners Bicycle Tour
- May 27 - 6:30 p.m., Memorial Day Summer Concert
- June 1 - noon to 6 p.m., Wheeling Feeling Chili Cookoff, Heritage Port
- June 20 - noon, West Virginia Day at West Virginia Independence Hall - includes historical reenactments, speeches, birthday cake; 2 p.m., Wildcat Regiment Band at the hall; 4-10 p.m., West Virginia Day Concert and fireworks, Heritage Port
- June 21 - 7 p.m., the Blue-Grey Choir will perform a choral concert featuring Civil War period music, folk songs, spirituals and patriotic music at West Virginia Independence Hall.
- June 22 - 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wheeling Arts Fest, 16th Street, downtown
- June 28-29 - 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Ohio Valley Rib & Chicken Cookoff, Heritage Port
- June 24 - noon to 9 p.m., Black Heritage Festival Family Fun Day, Heritage Port
- July 4 - 8:30 a.m., Freedom Run, WesBanco Arena
- July 4 - 7-10 p.m., Wheeling Symphony, fireworks, Heritage Port
- July 26-28 - Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival, Heritage Port
- Aug. 9-11 - Heritage Music BluesFest, Heritage Port
- Aug. 16-17 - Debbie Green Memorial Race, Heritage Port
- Aug. 24 - 4-11 p.m., Wheeling Wine & Jazz Fest, Heritage Port
- Aug. 30-Sept. 1 - Wheeling Vintage Raceboat Regatta, Heritage Port
- Sept. 8 - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Panhandle Pumpers Society, Heritage Port
New this year is a Law Enforcement Memorial Service at 5 p.m. May 17 at Heritage Port. O'Konski thanked Wheeling's officers and firefighters for working events every summer.
"They don't usually get recognized. ... They really go above and beyond," she said.
City Manager Robert Herron said he also is looking forward to the events.
"It's going to be an exciting summer this summer. ... We do receive a lot of positive feedback on these events," Herron said.