Plans forming for Gate 5 Industrial Art Festival in Weirton

Plans are under way for the second-annual Gate 5 Industrial Art Festival, set to be held Sept. 21 in Weirton and feature a variety of industrial-themed crafts, activities and demonstrations. -- Craig Howell

WEIRTON — It may only be spring, but members of the Renaissance Weirton Committee are planning for their fall celebration of the area’s industrial heritage.

The second-annual Gate 5 Industrial Art Festival will take place Sept. 21, with plans for activities throughout the city’s downtown.

Mayor Harold Miller explained the festival was named after the No. 5 Gate, located on Main Street.

“It’s an entrance where thousands of employees went in and out every day,” Miller said.

Christine Delguzzi, a member of the Renaissance Weirton Committee, noted the festival was created as a heritage event, reflecting on the industrial culture of Weirton and surrounding communities.

“It shows where we began and where we’re going,” Delguzzi said.

The festival committee currently is recruiting a variety of crafters and vendors who use various types of metal, glass, clay and other materials to produce their wares, along with demonstrations such as glass making and blacksmithing.

“We’re going to have a lot of the same activities, but put a spin on it,” she said.

That includes the Tin Man 5K Run and Walk and the Steampunk fashion show. This year, the fashion show will feature the twist that, in addition to steampunk elements, garments must include recycled materials.

The fashion show also will be turned into a competition, with featured outfits designed and submitted by area residents.

The committee also has scheduled two opportunities in May — May 11 and May 25 — to complete work on the Fiesta mosaic project at Cove Commons.

Work also is set to continue on a planned metal sculpture, designed by artist Jeff Forster, to include a series of employee badges from Weirton Steel. To assist in the fundraising, the committee is selling sponsorship levels for a “Giving Tree” aluminum sculpture. Sponsorships are available for $200, $450, $800 and $2,000. For more information on the project, call (304) 797-8500, ext. 1002 or ext. 1003.

Miller said the festival and activities are a reminder of Weirton’s ties to the steel industry, with the hope of keeping it fresh in the minds of residents for years to come.

“One thing you don’t want to do is lose your history,” Miller said.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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