Volcano Days revs up large weekend crowds
VOLCANO — A warm weekend brought many visitors to Mountwood Park over the weekend to enjoy the 31st annual Volcano Days Antique Engine Show and Festival.
Wood County Parks Director Jeremy Cross said the weekend’s turnout was very high and highlighted the large number of tractors and engines on display by the Wood County Flywheelers.
“We’ve had a lot of kids here this year. I’ve seen more kids this year than I think I’ve ever seen at Volcano Days,” Cross said. “That’s excellent, getting the next generation out here enjoying the history, the crowd, the food, the vendors. There’s just something for everyone, that’s what Mountwood Park is all about.”
The festival featured three days of live entertainment, displays of antique engines, historical lectures and tours, a variety of food concessions, a flea market and a craft show. There were also craft and equipment demonstrations, including a shingle mill, a flea market, apple butter making, wood mizer demonstrations, corn meal grinding, children’s events, bingo, kiddie tractor pulls and other attractions.
Among the demonstrators, Ivan Banks of Petroleum has been grinding corn for sale at Volcano Days for about 15 years. In the past, he traveled to other local engine shows and festivals but now focuses on Volcano Days.
“I think it’s a good show,” he said of the Mountwood Park event, adding he likes the crowds, the food and the engines on display.
While the festival sees a lot of visitors each year, Banks believes Volcano Days is less known among local residents.
“Sometimes something that’s close to home isn’t exciting as something in Orlando, Fla.,” he said, adding he likes talking to visitors from other states and even other countries at the event.
Dave Cline, of Belpre, was attending Volcano Days on Sunday with his family, something he tries to do every year. He likes the hit-and-miss engines — having exhibited his own in the past — along with the activities and attractions for the whole family.
“I think its good that the kids can come down here and see all of these tractors and hit-and-miss engines and do the kiddie tractor pull. It’s real good to keep them into that kind of thing. We’ve go engines and we’ve brought them down before and they’re just getting to the age now that they’re going to enjoy it once they get into that,” he said.
Volcano Days commemorates Volcano, the oil boomtown that burned down in 1879 but at one time filled the valley with houses, shops and other business. The Volcano Museum at the Mountwood Marina was open and each day featured a pair of tours to the ruins of the Stiles Mansion.
The mansion was built by William Cooper Stiles Jr., one of the pioneers of the West Virginia and Ohio oil fields. In the late 19th Century, Volcano was an important community in the oil boom sweeping the region.
Wayne Towner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org