Blennerhassett Museum to hold New Year’s celebration

PARKERSBURG — For the first time, the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History will host a New Year’s Eve celebration on Dec. 31 at the museum at Second and Juliana streets in downtown Parkersburg.

“The museum’s first ‘Big Band Bash’ debuts with a remarkable evening of music, dance and food, featuring the Doug Hess Big Band under the direction of Felice Jorgeson,” said museum Activities Coordinator Pam Salisbury.

“It’s dance music from the 1940s, from swing to rumba, with a rhythm section, trumpets, trombones, saxophones, drums and bass guitar,” she said.

The cost is $30 per person or $50 per couple to attend the “Big Band Bash” party on New Year’s Eve. This covers the museum admission, food, punch, coffee, water, and music and dance.

The Doug Hess Big Band has been providing music for dances for nearly 50 years. It currently consists of longtime Parkersburg area musicians including Doug Hess’s son Whitney Hess, Kent and Felice Jorgeson, Les Paul, Buddy Lee, Richard Board, Eric Staats, Tim Marks and David Fluharty and others.

Current and former local band directors are well represented, and a few Ohio University students play with the band from time to time.

Doors open at 8:30 p.m. with music and dance from 9 p.m. until midnight. There will be hors d’oeuvres, finger foods and beverages. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 304-420-4800.

The event is sponsored by the Blennerhassett Historical Foundation as a fundraiser for Blennerhassett Island and museum activities and support.

For island events, park activities and Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History hours, visit