Events planned at Blennerhassett Island park

From staff reports

Events involving birds of prey and fireworks will be held the next two weekends on Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park.

“Wings of Wonder – West Virginia Live Birds of Prey” will be presented at 1:30 p.m. Saturday on the island. The Three Rivers Avian Center will present a program with live birds (endangered and birds of prey). Directors Ron and Wendy Perone will present a one-hour program about the birds they have at the center.

The only cost is for the boat ride to the island which is $10 for adults and $8 for children 3-12. Please plan to ride the noon or 1 p.m. boat in order to see that presentation of live birds.

For further information about the park and upcoming events, please call the park office at 304-420-4800 or log onto the website at blennerhassettislandstatepark.com.

The boat to the island departs at noon.

Three Rivers Avian Center is dedicated to providing veterinary and rehabilitative care to threatened wild birds as well as educating and involving the public in ecosystem stewardship. From hummingbirds to eagles, wading birds to soaring birds, TRAC cares for each species’ individual requirements; including diet, perching, water access, caging substrates, light levels, and behavioral needs.

The “Wings of Wonder – West Virginia Birds of Prey” presentation is fairly general in scope, custom-tailored to an audience of all age groups. Each presentation includes live birds of prey from TRAC, and the individual case history of each raptor is discussed.

Program topics included vary as to their emphasis, but all presentations include the following: habitat and the role of raptors in the ecosystem; why there are laws protecting raptors and other wild birds; a discussion of the most common hazards they face daily; the work that TRAC does to return threatened wild birds to their native habitats.

Two special events involving the Island Belle sternwheeler will be Aug. 18 as part of the Parkersburg Homecoming Festival Fireworks show.

The Blennerhassett Island Family Fireworks Adventure will offers a chance to view the fireworks from the riverbank on the island. The island snack stand, gift shop, and restrooms will be open all evening. Bring a flashlight, lawn chair or blanket.

Boarding of the Island Belle will be 7:45 p.m. at Civitan Park in Belpre, with departure for the island at 8 p.m. The sternwheeler will take passengers back to Civitan Park following the fireworks around 11 p.m.

The cost for the sternwheeler ride is $12 for adults and $10 for children ages 3-12. Reservations are required by calling 304-420-4800.

The other activity is the Blennerhassett Island Family Fireworks Cruise, which will offer an opportunity to watch the Homecoming fireworks from the deck of the Island Belle.

The Island Belle will depart from Civitan Park, with boarding at 8:15 p.m. and departure at 8:30 p.m. Passengers will cruise along the Ohio River, enjoy the sunset over Blennerhassett Island, and finish the evening by watching an extravaganza of fireworks. Light concessions will be available on the boat. The boat will return to Civitan Park at 10:45 p.m.

Reservations are required. Tickets are $20 for adults and $18 for children ages 3-12.