Oglebayfest returns for 38th year

Oglebay’s fall tradition, Oglebayfest, will begin on Friday, October 2 and continue through Sunday, October 4, 2015. “Oglebayfest began in 1978 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Oglebay and provides an annual ‘thank-you’ to all who visit us year-round,” said John Hargleroad, Director of Operations for Oglebay. Many of Oglebayfest’s activities are offered free of charge or at a reduced admission.

The Phil Maxwell Artists’ and Gourmet Markets will be located in the Mansion Woods next to the Mansion Museum. The Markets offers a view of the tri-state’s best artisans at work plus an extensive selection of local and regional foods. Both markets will be open Friday 12 to 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Ohio County Country Fair at Site One features Baked Goods Auctions, Square Dance, Hog Calling Contest, Fiddle Contest, Pedal Power Contest, Hitch Class Show, Rock Throwing Contest, Baby Crawling Contest, and the State Championship Pony Pull. The Country Fair also features demonstrations including Old Fashioned Butter Making and Quilting. Sheep, horses, pigs, cows, goats and other animals will be on display in the Country Fair Livestock Tent.

Two crowd-pleasing favorites, the Oglebayfest parade and the fireworks, will take place on Saturday. The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Good Zoo and the fireworks display will light up the sky over Schenk Lake at 8 p.m. on Saturday evening.

Oglebayfest is also famous for its foods and non-stop entertainment. The Ihlenfeld Dining Room at Wilson Lodge has several special menus and buffets including the Seafood Extravaganza on Friday and the Brazilian Grill on Saturday. Both buffets are available from 5 to 9 p.m. Brunch is offered in the dining room on 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 Markus & James in Hickman Lounge from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, and Dustin McCray in Hickman on Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m.

The Rathskeller, located at Hess Shelter, is one of Oglebayfest’s most popular destinations. The menu has German favorites including grilled bratwurst plus sauerkraut, German potato salad and specialty beers. Candy Land will be at the Wagon Shed with fun foods including pepperoni rolls, cup o’smores, funnel cakes, popcorn and other treats. Food will be served at the Rathskeller and Wagon Shed on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entertainment at the Rathskeller includes Alpen Glow German Band, International Fold Dancers and Steve Grkman with his Button Box Accordion.

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 Farmhouse Sweets and Treats Shoppe. Farmhouse Sweets and Treats, located on The Hilltop next to Bissonnette Gardens, will also have a gourmet sampling tent.

Oglebayfest is also famous for its non-stop entertainment. There will be a free square dance with Cabin Fever String Band on Friday at the Country Fair from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Haller Shelter will host Hit Play on Friday from 9 to 11:30 p.m., Ron Retzer Trio on Saturday from 7 to 8:30 p.m., and Smoke Daddy and the Crawfish on Saturday from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. There is no admission to the Haller Shelter events but attendees must be 21 years old.

The Good Zoo is offering free admission on Saturday and Sunday where visitors can enjoy various Animal Enrichment programs including meerkats, spectacled bears, river otters, snakes and Painted Dogs. Fire Safety will also be featured on Saturday at the zoo as the Wheeling Fire Department kicks off Fire Safety week. “Come meet local firefighters at the zoo and practice getting out of a smoke-filled house,” added Hargleroad.

All the shops of Oglebay will be open during Oglebayfest including Carriage House Glass, the Nature Express Shop at the Good Zoo, the Palm Room by the greenhouse, Wheeling Civic Center Garden Center, Farmhouse Sweets and Treats Shoppe, and the Speidel Pro Shop at the Hamm Clubhouse.

Another popular Oglebayfest attraction, the Belgian horse display, will be at Site One on both Saturday and Sunday, and the Antique Car Display returns to the Mansion Museum lawn on Sunday. Pony rides will be available at the Oglebay Stables and inflatable rides will be offered at Schenk Lake on Saturday and Sunday. Clown Around Town will also be at Schenk Lake on Saturday and Sunday.

Oglebayfest offers free parking and the shuttle buses provide easy access to all of the festival’s activities. Special overnight packages are available at Wilson Lodge for Oglebayfest and reservations can be made by calling 800-624-6988 or book online at www.oglebay-resort.com.

For more information about Oglebayfest, call 304-243-4010 or visit www.oglebay-resort.com/fest.htm for a complete Oglebayfest schedule.