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Railroad Club to switch up festivities

PARKERSBURG — The Mid Ohio Valley Model Railroad Club will present the video “Christmas in the Valley” this year in place of its usual December open house because of the pandemic.

In a typical year the club would hold five open houses and a train show in October at West Virginia University at Parkersburg along with clinics and workshops. Like most organizations around the area and throughout the state, the club has had to cancel those events due to COVID-19.

Club spokesman Jimmie Bee came up with the idea for a virtual open house.

After consulting with fellow member Mike Penn, Bee wrote the script for “Christmas in the Valley,” which features two kids, Payton and Parker, taking a magical trip to the club in their dreams with a surprise on Christmas morning.

The video is a way to give back and keep the interest of all model railroad enthusiasts alive, according to Bee.

“We know the romance and nostalgia trains bring to people young and old,” Bee said. “I thought a story appealing to the young people in our community would embody the spirit of Christmas. Adding over 25 minutes of bonus train video would be a great way to experience the feel of train travel and hear the whistles blow while people stay safe at home.”

Just like open houses and shows, the video will play twice for free on the club’s Facebook page. The premier is 8 p.m. Saturday and it will play again at 8 p.m. Dec. 26.

For the fundraising part, the club is selling “Christmas in the Valley” with the bonus train footage on DVD for a $10 donation at several locations in the area listed on the club’s Facebook page or for $15 will mail the DVD.

Checks can be sent to MOVMRC, 610 Green St., Parkersburg, WV 26101

DVD distributors are Auntie Anne’s at the Grand Central Mall, NOE Office Equipment in Parkersburg, Peddlers Junction in Belpre, Galen’s Alignment & Brake in Mineral Wells, Mountaineer Meat Market in Mineral Wells, Maka-mia Pizza in Ripley and Wendy’s in Ripley, Ravenswood and Spencer. More locations will be available later.

The club was established in 1981 and has 70 members. Its railroad layout complete with town, sounds and lights is in the basement of NOE Office Equipment where it has been housed since 2003.

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