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Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor
Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release: June 16, 2014

Facebook: WV Commerce - State Parks

Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 957-9365 hoy.r.murphy@wv.gov


Pam Salisbury, Event Coordinator, 304-420-4800 Pamela.D.Salisbury@wv.gov

Artillery, baseball and a barn dance are some of the activities at Blennerhassett Island West Virginia Day Weekend, June 20-22, 2014

PARKERSBURG, West Virginia – Blennerhassett Island, nestled in the Ohio River between the hills of West Virginia and the shore of Ohio, will echo with the sound of cannons and other artillery June 20-22, 2014. The 17th Va. Cavalry, Kanawha Artillery Battery D (Rebs) and Carlin's Battery D of Artillery (Yanks) and Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park have planned a celebration of West Virginia statehood that includes a Civil War encampment on the island, 1860s style baseball, battles, a barn dance, riverboat rides, birthday cake and ice cream. West Virginia is 151 years old on June 20 and the celebration extends until Sunday, June 22.

The West Virginia Day program begins on the island at 1 p.m. with a performance by the Ohio River Sternwheel Chorus. Park Supt. Matthew Baker will welcome birthday party attendees at 1:30 p.m., followed by cake and ice cream and the ringing of the bell ceremony by Jane Francis Hofbauer and Dr. Ray Swick, Blennerhassett historian. Hammered dulcimer music by Scott Cain and a program by the Smoot Theater Boys Ensemble round out the Friday afternoon activities, which are free to the public.

Friday, June 20, the Island Belle Sternwheeler departs from Point Park in Parkersburg, West Virginia, for Blennerhassett Island. Boat tickets are available at the Museum of Regional History in downtown Parkersburg. The Island Belle will depart from Civitan Park in Belpre, Ohio, for all trips to the island Saturday, June 21. Boat tickets will be sold on the island for the return trip. The Island Belle departs from Point Park in Parkersburg Sunday, June 22, with tickets available at the Museum of Regional History.

CIVIL WAR ENCAMPMENT – June 20, 21, 22

Visit with Civil War reenactors, historians and the encampments on the island throughout the weekend. The Civil War camps open June 20 at 11:30 a.m., June 21 at 9:30 a.m. and June 22 at 11:30 a.m. Visitors are invited to watch the Infantry/Cavalry Tactical with Artillery "Battle of the Island" beginning at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.


Saturday, June 21, beginning at 2:30 p.m., island visitors will get a look at how baseball was played in the 1860s. Players in period-correct attire and using equipment of the 1860s will compete. Attendees will learn about baseball when outfielders were called scouts, the pitcher's mound was the pitcher's point, runs were called aces, batters were called strikers, fans were called cranks and other early baseball jargon and rules. This is sports history at its finest with a game between The Ohio Village Muffins vs. The Veterans Corps at 2:30 p.m.


The sternwheeler transport to this special evening event departs from Civitan Park in Belpre, Ohio, for a 7 p.m. evening dinner and horse-drawn wagon ride, followed by a barn-style dance from 8 until 10 p.m. The Tower Street String Band from Tazewell, Virginia, will play. Reservations are required. Dinner and barn dance ticket prices are $30  for adults and $25  for children 3-12 years of age. Price includes dinner, sternwheeler ride, wagon ride, music and dancing. Email Pamela.D.Salisbury@wv.gov or call 304-420-4800 to purchase tickets to enjoy this special West Virginia evening.


Blennerhassett Mansion Tours, Maple Shade (Putnam-Houser House) visitation, horse-drawn wagon rides, concessions, bicycle rentals and gift shops are open throughout the weekend. The Museum of Regional History is open daily and located on the corner of Juliana and 2nd streets in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
Blennerhassett Island is open daily throughout the summer except for non-holiday Mondays. This state park preserves West Virginia's history of Margaret and Harmon Blennerhassett's lifestyles, excesses and tribulations. To learn more about Blennerhassett Island State Park, visit www.blennserhassettislandstatepark.com or phone 304-420-4800.


Photo Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.  Civil War encampments and battles will be part of West Virginia Day weekend activities on Blennerhassett Island State Park June 20-22, 2014.
Photo Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.  Civil War encampments and battles will be part of West Virginia Day weekend activities on Blennerhassett Island State Park June 20-22, 2014.