WEIRTON - Final preparations are being made for a new traveling museum exhibit to celebrate local sports teams.
The Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center will be hosting "Hometown Teams - How Sports Shape America," a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution and West Virginia Humanities Council, Aug. 17 to Sept. 27.
According to Museum President Dennis Jones, several events are slated to accompany the exhibit, which will include information on teams from the Weirton area and other parts of the country.
Among the events are:
Aug. 17: Kick-off reception, 1-3 p.m. at the Weirton Museum, featuring a welcome address by Weirton Mayor George Kondik, master of ceremonies John Sorrenti and an exhibit overview by Jones.
Aug. 21: "The Bridge from Segregated Sports to Desegregated Sports in Weirton," 6-8 p.m. at the museum. Guest speakers will be Mel Coleman, retired Madonna basketball coach and teacher, and Bob Kelley, Weir High football star and Kennedy Award winner.
Aug. 23: The unveiling of "Professional Athlete's of Weirton," a sign dedicated to those Weirton residents to reach the highest levels of sports, 10:30 a.m. at the corner of Weir Avenue and Cove Road.
Aug. 23: "A History of Sports at Weir High, Madonna and Dunbar," 2-4 p.m. at the museum. Guest speakers will include Bob Barnett, professor emeritus at Marshall University and author of "Hillside Fields: A History of Sports in West Virginia," Doug Huff, retired sports writer with The Intelligencer, Bob Kelley, and Bill Barrett, retired athletic director at Weirton Madonna High School.
Aug. 26: "Weir High School Football Past and Present," 6-8 p.m. at the museum. Guest speaker will be Tony Filberto, Weir High football coach.
Sept. 16: "Weirton Steel Interdepartmental Sports," 6-8 p.m., at the museum. Guest speaker is David T. Javersak, author, dean emeritus and professor emeritus of West Liberty University.
Sept. 18: "Weir High 1960-1962 Band Special Reception," 6-8 p.m. at the museum. Special guests will be former band director Dale Lutton and members of the Weir High School band from 1960-1962.
Sept. 23: "Brooke High School Football from the Beginning to the End of an Era," 6-8 p.m. at the Weirton museum. Guest speaker is former Brooke coach Paul "Bud" Billiard.
Sept. 28: "Special Olympics," 2 p.m. at the Brooke County Historical Museum and Culture Center.
In addition to the museum exhibits, Jones explained during the six-week visit there will be a "Hometown Sports Tour," where families can visit many sports exhibits in the area.
Tickets can be obtained through a donation beginning Aug. 17, and those visiting at least six of the nine planned locations will have their ticket put into a drawing for their choice of tickets to a game for either the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Browns, West Virginia University Mountaineers or Pittsburgh Penguins.
Planned locations for the tour will include the Weirton museum, Hancock County Museum, Brooke County museum, Weirton Millsop Community Center, Mary H. Weir Public Library, Summit Art Gallery, Weir High School, Madonna High School and Oak Glen High School.