One of the largest events in the month-long celebration of Shakespeare’s First Folio visit to Wheeling took place Saturday night in the slightly muddy but very English stage area of the Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater at Oglebay Park. The day’s rain let up just in time for the start of ShakesBeer In The Park, which was event host Oglebay Institute’s take on a rowdy party of the type that might have accompanied a theater performance in London 400 years ago. Many guests came in period costumes, and they enjoyed unique Elizabethan-style food by chef Mark Glass and were entertained with acting and games by the Rustic Mechanicals.
Of course there was beer, too. Perhaps not the same suds that Falstaff would have enjoyed (beer has gotten a lot better over the last several centuries), but a wide variety of unique brews, most paying homage to Olde England. A selection of homebrews from local club the Wheeling Alers kicked off the night, followed by “draughts” from Wheeling Brewing Company. The evening closed with authentic English beers Old Speckled Hen and Abbot’s Ale. VIP ticketholders had the privilege of drinking out of clay tankards fired specially for the event by Rick Morgan and his staff at OI’s Stifel Fine Arts Center.
Weelunk photographer Wallis dutifully donned a red-and-gold queen’s costume and went to work capturing images for us to share.