Warmer temperatures mean more events

The temperatures this weekend, and the sight of a few light flurries Saturday morning tell us it is still winter, although we are heading in a warmer direction.

Spring will officially be here in just under three weeks.

With that means people are going to want to be outside, flowers will start growing and some of our annual community festivities will be returning for residents to enjoy.

The first weekend of spring also happens to have some of our first big events.

There will, of course, be more information coming, but some of you might want to mark your calendars and get ready.

March 20-22 will feature the annual Tri-State Home and Garden Show at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville. Organized by Wheelhouse Creative, this event brings together vendors focusing on home remodeling, gardening and other projects we might have in mind once the weather breaks.

It’s a nice place to get some ideas, or maybe line up a project.

Going up the river a bit to Oak Glen High School, those same days will see the yearly Montain Semper Liberi Music and Art festival.

This is an interesting event, bringing together musicians from across the Ohio Valley and around the country. There’s a variety of entertainment, much of it more in line with the genres of folk, country, bluegrass and Americana.

I had the opportunity to attend the festival a few years back, and was introduced to several bands I had never heard of. A few I’ve continued to track. It’s interesting to see where their careers have gone, knowing they once performed on the stage of one of our local high schools.

The festival also features several area artists, showcasing their paintings, sculptures and other pieces.

Montani Semper Liberi has grown incredibly over the last few years, and it’s great to see it continue to do well. A big thanks to Matt Cashdollar and his crew for putting it together every year. It’s important to celebrate our culture, and our music and art are just as much a part of that and the people who create them.

Speaking of showcasing our culture…

In Weirton, March 21 will have the annual Festival of Nations at the Millsop Community Center.

Inspired from a similar event held in Weirton in the 1940s and developed under the auspices of the Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center, the event has been going on for more than 10 years now and continues to be a fun and educational opportunity for our area.

The Ohio Valley is a vibrant patchwork of cultures, and this event is one of the ways we can celebrate our ethnic backgrounds.

With a variety of music and dancing from around the world taking the stage, to informational booths on different countries to several foods we might not normally find in our area, this has been a great event and I hope to see a big crowd this year.

There’s something for everyone. Personally, I’m saving up for the food, bringing my utensil set and hoping one day we have a couple of restaurants featuring these international cuisines.

These are just a few events, of course, but they’re important as we look forward to the changing seasons.

There will be even more festivals, concerts and community activities coming up as we get into spring and then summer.

Our parks will become lively again, the recreational trails will have more people on them. Our communities will become more active following the end of the colder months of the year.

It won’t be long.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)