WHEELING - For more than a decade, the Wheeling Heritage Port Sternwheel Festival has offered Ohio Valley residents three days of fun, food and boats on the Ohio River to enjoy each September.
And while the entertainment is free to attendees, organizer James Arritt said it costs about $100,000 a year to put on the event. That includes paying for entertainers, along with the cost of electricity, water and garbage service from the city of Wheeling. Though the festival continues to be a big hit with the public, Arritt said more donations are needed to help keep the event going. Last year the festival, though successful, actually lost money.
"People don't realize it, but we spend $25,000 just on entertainment," Arritt said.
A sternwheeler makes it way to Wheeling Heritage Port on the Ohio River.
File Photo by Scott McCloskey
Individuals or companies interested in helping to sponsor the festival can call Arritt at 740-695-3667 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year's Sternwheel Festival is set for Sept. 12-14 at Heritage Port on Water Street in downtown Wheeling. The festival is expected to host nine to 12 sternwheeler boats at the port. About 42 vendors will line Water Street, offering a variety of dishes for people to purchase. Entertainment will include various local and regional musical acts and dance school performances. There will also be entertainment for children such as inflatables.
A fireworks display by Zambelli is slated for about 9:15 p.m. Saturday. The ABATE motorcycle club is expected to perform trick rides at 2 p.m. Saturday. And a classic car show is slated for Friday evening.
The festival was founded in 2002 and is sanctioned by the American Sternwheel Association.