Island celebrating West Virginia Day

PARKERSBURG – Blennerhassett Island will celebrate West Virginia’s birthday Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The celebration will resonate with the report from artillery with re-enactors from the 17th Va. Cavalry, Kanawha Artillery Battery D and Carlin’s Battery D, an 1860s-style baseball game, a barn dance, riverboat rides, cake and ice cream. West Virginia is 151 years old on June 20.

The West Virginia Day program begins on the island at 1 p.m. Friday with a performance by the Ohio River Sternwheel Chorus. Park Superintendent Matthew Baker will welcome participants at 1:30 p.m., followed by cake and ice cream and the ringing of the bell ceremony by Jane Francis Hofbauer and Ray Swick, Blennerhassett State Park historian.

Hammered dulcimer music by Scott Cain and a program by the Smoot Theater Boys Ensemble round out the Friday afternoon activities, which are free to the public.

The Island Belle Sternwheeler on Friday will depart from Point Park in Parkersburg for Blennerhassett Island and tickets are available at the Museum of Regional History in downtown Parkersburg.

The Island Belle will depart from Civitan Park in Belpre on Saturday. Boat tickets will be sold on the island for the return trip.

The boat will depart from Point Park on Sunday with tickets available at the museum.

The Civil War camps open 11:30 a.m. Friday, 9:30 a.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. Sunday. The Infantry/Cavalry Tactical with Artillery Battle of the Island will be held 11:30 a.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

The 1860s exhibition baseball game between the Ohio Village Muffins vs. the Veterans Corps will be held 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Players in period-correct attire using equipment of the 1860s will compete.

A dinner and horse-drawn wagon ride will be held 7 p.m. Saturday followed by a barn dance from 8-10 p.m. The sternwheeler to the special evening event will leave from Civitan Park. The Tower Street String Band from Tazewell, Va., will perform.

Reservations are required. Dinner and barn dance ticket prices are $30 for adults and $25 for children 3-12 years old. Price includes dinner, sternwheeler ride, wagon ride, music and dancing. Email or call 304-420-4800 to purchase tickets.

Blennerhassett Mansion tours, Maple Shade (Putnam-Houser House) visitation, horse-drawn wagon rides, concessions, bicycle rentals and gift shops are open throughout the weekend. The Museum of Regional History is open daily and located at Juliana and Second streets in Parkersburg.