PARKERSBURG - People will be able to get a sense of the past this weekend as the "Reflections of the Past: A History and Heritage Festival" gets under way today around the area.
Sites throughout Wood County will be highlighting the area's history and heritage through activities.
Events are being held today at New Era One Room School Museum at Mineral Wells School on West Virginia 14, Artcraft Studio at the Dils Center in Parkersburg, the Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley on Seventh Street, the Oil and Gas Museum on Third Street, the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History on Juliana Street, the Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, Henderson Hall on River Road near Williamstown, Monroe House on Park Avenue in Parkersburg and the Smoot Theatre on Fifth Street.
''We want people to get a better understanding of the position Parkersburg played in the development of this state,'' said Deborah Shaffer with the festival steering committee.
People who founded West Virginia and served as its first leaders were from the Parkersburg area. People who go back further, like the Blennerhassetts, played a part in the formation of early America.
Throughout the weekend other events will play out around the area, including an 1860s-era baseball game at Parkersburg High School Saturday; an antique car show as well as architectural, ghost and church tours.
Museums, including the Volcano Museum at Mountwood Park, and historic homes, like the Cook House in Parkersburg, will be open.
Carlin's Battery will set up for two days at Fort Boreman Historical Park with artillery firing drills and night firings. There will be displays at the log cabin headquarters there on Saturday.
The West Augusta Genealogy Workshop will be held 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Parkersburg/Wood County Public Library.
Organizers wanted to set aside a weekend where the historical sites could all do something at the same time, Shaffer said.
''We would like to see it become an annual event,'' she said. ''We are just going to see how things go this weekend. We will wait and see what kind of response we get from this.''
Everyone involved comes from all walks of life and has an interest in preserving history.
''We want people to get excited and help in that preservation,'' Shaffer said. ''We want the children and others coming up to be able to pick it up and be able to tell the story of Parkersburg and this area.''
For more information contact the Greater Parkersburg Convention & Visitors Bureau at 304-428-1130.