WinterFest on tap this weekend at Oglebay Park | News, Sports, Jobs

Photo by Eric Ayres – Oglebay crew members Phillip White and Zach Herink, left to right, set up snow machines on the park’s ski slopes, laying down a fresh layer of powder in preparation for the many festivities this weekend for the third annual Winterfest.

With a seemingly relentless barrage of snow in recent weeks, winter in the Ohio Valley is in full swing. This weekend, Oglebay is setting the stage to celebrate all the great things the cold and frosty season brings.

Oglebay’s third annual WinterFest brings together special events – plus winter activities that are park favorites – throughout the weekend with chilling fun for visitors of all ages. Oglebay Park’s popular Festival of Lights is over, but by no means has the plug been disconnected on the many other attractions that make the sprawling park a winter wonderland at this time of year, especially when the scenic hills are covered with a blanket of snow. .

And for those bold enough – or crazy enough – to take part, one of the highlights of the WinterFest weekend will be the annual Polar Plunge in Shenk Lake – a special fundraising event with proceeds benefiting the Games. West Virginia Special Olympics. (At last check, the forecast for Wheeling on Saturday called for a mild high of 19 – so there may be a need to break up some surface ice on the lake again before the event.)

On Friday there will be skiing and snowboarding at the Oglebay Winter Sports Complex, weather permitting. Despite the good amount of recent snow, the crews were keeping a layer of fresh powder on the slopes this week in preparation for the weekend of winter activities. Weather permitting, the slopes will be open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

The Good Zoo will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, and there will be ice skating available at the Wheeling Park Rink from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday .

Special Friday night activities include a family game night with a game of “Name That Tune” in the Hickman Lounge at Wilson Lodge, followed by a free movie night with Warren Miller’s “Timeless,” a documentary that explores the excitement of winter sports, featuring athletes from around the world. the globe. Both events are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, registration for the Polar Plunge begins at 11:30 a.m. at Shenk Lake. A costume contest for Polar Plunge participants will take place at 12:45 p.m. with prizes awarded to the most creative individual and group costumes. The Polar Plunge starts at 1 p.m. Food truck concessions will be available on site for participants and onlookers.

The Polar Plunge from Oglebay to Wheeling is the first of five “Freezin’ for a Reason” events taking place this winter in communities across the state to benefit Special Olympics West Virginia. Additional Polar Plunge events are scheduled to take place in Hurricane, Parkersburg, Morgantown and Ripley this winter, and proceeds raised from these events will be used to provide year-round sports training and competition for thousands of athletes. from West Virginia with an intellectual disability.

Dive participants are encouraged to fundraise from family, friends and colleagues prior to the event, and a donation of at least $50 per person is required to participate in the dive. All divers are required to sign a waiver prior to the event. Diving is not permitted, but mind-boggling belly banging is strongly encouraged.

The dress code ranges from traditional bathing suits to crazy individual and group costumes. Participants should have a towel and dry clothes to put on immediately after the dive.

For more information on the Polar Plunge, visit the Oglebay website at or the Special Olympics of West Virginia website at

In addition to the ice dip in Shenk Lake, the other highlight event of this special weekend is the WinterFest party from 8-11 p.m. Saturday in Oglebay’s Pine Room, featuring live entertainment with the party band energetic Pittsburgh-area Jukebox. The concert is free and open to the public.

Special overnight packages are available for Wilson Lodge, where guests can enjoy the indoor pool and sauna, as well as other park amenities. A mountain buffet breakfast will be available in the Ihlenfeld dining room.

For more information on Oglebay’s third annual WinterFest celebration, visit

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