Wellsburg will offer new festival

WELLSBURG – With the Wellsburg Fourth of July festivities behind everyone and the Brooke County Fair and Wellsburg Applefest still a month or two away, several Wellsburg officials and residents have teamed with the Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau to offer area residents an event to help them enjoy the dog days of summer.

The Wellsburg Oldtime Festival will debut Aug. 10 at the Wellsburg Town Square, Charles Street and the Wellsburg Wharf. Proceeds from vendor fees will go to the city’s park and recreation committee.

As its name implies, the festival is designed to offer area residents of all ages fun activities and entertainment reminiscent of the county fairs and street festivals of old.

It will include free pontoon rides on the Ohio River, courtesy of Merco Marine, a local manufacturing company; a classic car cruise and motorcycle show; farmers’ market and flea market tables; live music; and food.

The Crooked Dock restaurant, formerly known as Pier 12, will sponsor a volleyball tournament that day and is recruiting 20-member teams to participate. For information about the tournament, call (304) 737-3280.

There also will be a contest in which youth and adults are invited to dress in old-time clothing. Trophies will be awarded to winners in two age groups, 12 and under and over 12, in the competition, which will be coordinated by Shirlie Rogers.

Slated to begin at 11 a.m., entertainment will include area bands 40 Plus, Three’s Company and Side by Side, with disc jockeys Jack Carbasho and Ronald Music spinning discs at the wharf or square during the day.

The car and motorcycle show will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Main Street near the wharf. Registration will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and there is no fee.

Dash plaques will be awarded for the first 50 vehicles. Those interested in participating should call (304) 670-0019 or (304) 374-8342.

The pontoon rides will be offered from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., pending suitable weather.

Jon Meriwether, owner of Merco Marine, said he thought of the idea after hearing many senior citizens comment they had never been on the Ohio River after participating in a sternwheeler ride through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.

Bill Konkle, who represents Brooke County on the Top of West Virginia CVB’s advisory board, said CVB officials also welcomed the opportunity to showcase the river and its recreational opportunities through the event.

Mayor Sue Simonetti said she hopes the festival will become a regular attraction.

“We want to start a tradition. We hope it will be a big success,” she said.

Konkle added, “A lot of people have told me we need something like this.”

Among the many involved are Michelle Basil, who has assisted Konkle in coordinating the Discover Brooke County event; and City Collector-Treasurer Francine Krause, who has organized the city’s New Year’s Eve festivities on the town square and other events.

The festival organizers are still accepting reservations for farmers’ market and flea market tables. The cost is $25 for a 10-foot space. For information, call (304) 737-0636.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com)