WV DNR News Release

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Joe Manchin III, Governor
Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release : January 16, 2009

 Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 558-2003 ext. 365 hoy.r.murphy@wv.gov

Sissie Summers, West Virginia State Parks (304) 558-2764 sissiesummers@wvdnr.gov 

Sweetheart Packages and Valentine’s Day events planned at West Virginia’s State Parks February 14th  weekend

            When Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday, as it does this year, it provides an opportunity for a whole weekend to say “Be my Valentine” with dinner, a play, a dance or a romantic getaway at a West Virginia state park lodge or cabin. Special “Sweetheart packages” are available at a state park near wherever you live, including North Bend, Cacapon, Hawks Nest, Pipestem, and Chief Logan Lodge, and reservations are highly recommended.

            Sweetheart packages, dinner theaters, and dances are some of the many West Virginia State Park’s programs and events scheduled this year. For information regarding specific Sweetheart/Valentine details, contact 800-CALL-WVA and ask for the park by name. For a complete list of activities and events at WV State Parks and Forests, go online to www.wvstateparks.com and click on “calendar” or call (304) 558-2764 and request a printed Calendar of Events to be mailed.

            The North Bend Sweetheart Package includes Friday evening activities and snacks, Saturday breakfast buffet, Saturday dinner and dance with the band “Stepping Stone” providing a great mix of dance favorites. The package also includes room reservations at the North Bend State Park Lodge both Friday and Saturday nights.

            “We enjoy having fun at North Bend,” says Gayle McGuffey, event coordinator. The North Bend weekend includes a “caught you being sweet” game where guests are awarded candy hearts to collect prizes at Saturday’s dance. The Tunnel of Love Hike on Friday evening may not be everyone’s idea of a romantic weekend, but those strolling through an illuminated tunnel on the North Bend Rail Trail are rewarded with a hot cocoa break at the gazebo before returning to the lodge.  ‘It’s a heart healthy activity combined with a chocolate fix,” says McGuffey. Friday evening also includes The North Bend Sweetheart Game, based on the TV game show, “The Newlywed Game.” How well do you know your sweetheart?

            Saturday includes a ‘honey’ of a breakfast and an opportunity to get outside for a short walk to see beaver habitat. McGuffey indicates the dam building activity by resident park beavers is amazing to watch.  The weekend also encourages visits to area shops and local stores, a keepsake craft activity with instruction and craft provided by Woolen Willow of Williamstown, W.Va., and more.  The Saturday Sweetheart buffet features prime rib and Chef Ingel’s dessert bar. The Sweetheart Dance, which includes finger foods and refreshments, starts at 9 p.m. with the band “Stepping Stone.”

            For more information, contact North Bend State Park, (304) 643-2931.The full weekend cost is $270 per couple including taxes and gratuities, activities, dinner and dance. Dinner/dance only options are available.

            Escape to Cacapon Resort State Park and steal away for a packaged weekend that includes two nights’ lodging, Valentine dinner for two and dance on February 14, and Sunday breakfast. The dance features entertainment and music by “Sundog.” Events Coordinator Kelly Smith notes that Cacapon’s Sweetheart Weekend is affordably priced at $204 for two for the complete weekend package. “Our weekend is paced to allow time to visit Berkeley Springs State Park in the historic town of Berkeley Springs, approximately 12 miles from Cacapon. Berkeley Springs State Park is an historic spa and presents its services in the style of the 1930s with its history of “baths” and health attributes dating back to the late 1700s with George Washington’s regular visits. For Sweetheart Escape reservations or other scheduled events, call Cacapon Resort at (304) 258-1022. 

            If your Valentine is an Elvis fan, Hawks Nest is the place for Valentine’s weekend. Event coordinator Willa Grafton says, “With the voice and moves like Elvis himself, impersonator Frankie Dee is a true entertainer.”  There are four options for Valentine weekend fun: dinner and entertainment Friday Night, February 13 at 7:30 p.m., a Saturday Matinee, February 14 at 2 p.m., Saturday Night, February 14 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday Matinee, February 15 at 2 p.m.

            “Our two shows last year had folks asking for more,” according to Grafton. ‘‘’That’s all right,’ if ‘you’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’,’ our weekend at Hawks Nest is sure to rekindle ‘young love’ or maybe just help you remember Elvis and some great songs from 1953-1977. What better weekend to ‘put on your blue suede shoes’ and bring your sweetheart, friends, group or family for the fun we have at Hawks Nest dinner theaters?”

            The event is packaged with dinner, entertainment, overnight lodging and breakfast, or choose dinner and entertainment only.  All dinner theaters at Hawks Nest are listed on the park’s Web site, www.hawksnestsp.com and click “events.”

            Pipestem has three Valentine Day Weekend options: a packaged weekend with dinner and dance, a bird count, or a simple getaway night for two.

            The Valentine's Day weekend package includes Friday evening activity, Saturday evening dinner, and a dance with music by Steve Gregory. The package cost for two is $275 and includes activities, two nights of lodging and Saturday evening dinner and dance, taxes and gratuities. The event is hosted by Resort Food Service, Beth Bailey concessionaire.

            If you “love birds” and like getting outdoors, park naturalist Jim Phillips invites you to the Great  Backyard Bird Count held this same weekend, February 13-15.  “This is a nationwide birding activity and a great opportunity to learn about your feathered friends,” says Phillips. “Many people travel to Pipestem to enjoy hiking and our interpretative programs. The lodge is open year-round and this time of year is most affordable with winter rates of $59 - $69.”  Anyone is welcome to be part of the Great Backyard Bird Count. There is no charge to participate.  Contact Jim Phillips at 304 466-1800.

            Pipestem’s third option is “on your own.”  “Today’s society is rush, rush, rush and a lot of folks and couples simply welcome the opportunity to come to the park and set their own pace and relax,” says Steve Bolar, superintendent.  “Guests truly appreciate the importance of parks like Pipestem that serve as a sanctuary of comfort. Whether it is to attend a Valentines Dance, to watch birds or to continue a family reunion or vacation tradition, Pipestem and state parks, are good options any time. ”

            For information on events and activities at Pipestem Resort, call (304) 466-1800 or online at www.pipestemresort.com, click “special events” or “packages.”

            Valentine Weekend at Chief Logan Lodge includes mystery and suspense in the form of a murder mystery dinner theater called “A Country Music Murder,” produced and directed by Karen Vuranch. The Bodacious Bodines are back on the road! The story goes that three singing sisters were once a country music sensation and the sisters are singing again, but their daughters have joined them and the group is off to Nashville to try to make in the music business. There is a little rivalry about who will be the lead singer of the group. It could be one of Raylene Bodine’s daughters, Raylene, or Auntie Mama, as she is called, the ramrod of the group.  But Arlene Bodine was the former lead singer; maybe one of her daughters will provide some competition. Arlene and Raylene have some issues anyway, since Raylene stole Arlene’s husband all those years ago. Then, there is wacky and clumsy Durleen Bodine and her daughter. The sisters and their girls will present a farewell concert, as they go on the road to seek fame and fortune. Joint the fun for some songs and shenanigans in “A Country Music Murder” mystery dinner theatre.

            Dinner is prepared by Chef Cathy Fout and includes Stuffed Shells, Roast Beef au jus, Granny Kay’s Chicken, vegetables, salads, baked rolls and Valentine sweet treats. Dinner theater package includes dinner and theater, overnight accommodations at Chief Logan Lodge, breakfast, taxes and gratuities.  Package rates range from $112 for king rooms to $146 for executive suites with fireplaces. For more information and reservations contact Chief Logan Lodge at (340) 855-8100.

            Canaan Valley in Tucker County is introducing American Mountain Theater, a Branson-style production Valentine’s Day weekend and at other dates this winter. Contact Canaan Valley at (304) 866-4121 for information.

            Stonewall Resort, located in Lewis County, offers a package that includes lodging, dinner and champagne and spa options. Call Stonewall at (304) 269-7400 for information and to make reservations.

            The restaurant for Blackwater Falls in Tucker County will feature a Valentines theme and the park offers room and cabin options. Call Blackwater Falls at (304) 259-5216 for weekend options and reservations.

            West  Virginia State Parks restaurants that are open year-round with full-service include: Stonewall, Pipestem, Cacapon, Canaan Valley, and Twin Falls resorts, North Bend, Hawks Nest, Blackwater Falls, and Chief Logan Lodge.