Taste of the Blues kicks off the 18th annual Heritage Music BluesFest at noon Friday, Aug. 10, with the gates officially opening at 4 p.m. for three days of award-winning blues music. Hear the likes of Delbert McClinton and Rick Estrin & the Nightcats on Friday; Southern Avenue, Paul DesLauriers Band and Southern Hospitality on Saturday; and Mindi Abair & the Boneshakers, and Eric Gales on Sunday, and plenty more acts on two stages. Music is set for 5-11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and 1-9 p.m. Sunday. Tickets at the gate, 12th and Water streets. www.heritagemusicfest.com
85th ANNUAL MAHRAJAN
The Mahrajan Lebanese Festival is set for noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, with an outdoor Maronite Catholic Mass at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The event, hosted by Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church, takes place at the Levenson Shelter, Oglebay. Along with dancing and music, there will be a selection of Lebanese food such as hummus, tabbouleh, grape leaves, baked kibbee, meat pies, shish kabobs and pastries. 304-233-1688; firstname.lastname@example.org
‘THE WIDOW’S TALE
Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre will stage “The Widow’s Tale” by Wheeling playwright Paul Orr at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, and Saturday, Aug. 11, as part of its mission to present new and/or original works by local playwrights. The play follows Carol, a widow in her early 40s seeking to remarry, who begins frequenting funeral homes hoping to snag a widower. It’s not just any man she seeks. She is on the prowl for an “upgrade” — a man of financial means who will provide her with a life of luxury. Carol’s plan takes a sudden turn when she encounters an old flame and gets an unexpected surprise. Orr was a professor of English from 1956-1996 at Wheeling Jesuit University, serving as chair of the English department for 13 years. Tim Thompson, Oglebay Insitute director of performing arts, is directing and performing in the show. He has surrounded himself with a cast of area actors including: Rob DeSantis, Rachel Thompson, Cheryl Violette, Kate Crosbie, Grace Thompson, Kim Brown and Joe Heatherington A meet and greet with the playwright and cast takes place after the show in The Gallery at Towngate, 2118 Market St., Wheeling.304-242-7700; www.oionline.com
THE BATTLE WRAPS UP
The final installment of Battle of the DJs Teen Dance — The Monster Jam DJ Battle — is set for 8-11 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, at Wheeling Park Memorial Ice Rink. Nick Arno, Brian Oliver and DJ Daner will duke it out for the crown. $6. 304-243-4085
CONNECT 4 AUGUSTA LEVY
Join the fun at the fifth annual World’s Largest Connect 4 Tournament, 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at Hess Shelter, Oglebay Park. The $10 entry fee includes food. All proceeds will be donated to the Augusta Levy Learning Center. Along with the Connect 4 Tournament, there will be corn toss and Polish horseshoes, as well as a 50/50 drawing. Tournament winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to Nail City Record.
SUMMER MUSIC SERIES
Lunchtime Live at Market Plaza, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 10, features the music of Jason Treuman. This concert was postponed last week.
Stampede (hot country), Toe-Tappin’ Tuesdays, 7-9 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 14, Warwood Garden Park, Wheeling. 304-234-6432
The 1170 Band (country favorites), Wheeling Waterfront Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 15, Heritage Port, Wheeling.
CAMPFIRE BLUEGRASS JAM
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Join Bill Gorby & the Musical Mercenaries for a campfire bluegrass jam 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, at the Schrader Center at Oglebay. Everyone is welcome to bring an acoustic instrument (spoons count) and join in the jam! Don’t play an instrument? Come for the entertainment. Bill Gorby & the Musical Mercenaries play an eclectic array of Appalachia-rooted music, delivered in three-part harmony Free admission. S’mores and concessions available for purchase. BYOB. www.oionline.com
GET OUT YOUR UMBRELLAS
Skyflight Productions presents an evening with EmiSunshine and The Rain on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the Albert S. George Youth Center at Barnesville Memorial Park in Barnesville. EmiSunshine is a 14-year-old East Tennessee prodigy who has captured the nation’s attention as a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Whether she’s performing on the Today show or the Grand Ole Opry or taking the stage at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, she is fearless, confident and firm in her musical direction. As she says, she sings “old-time music,” but it’s her own unique blend of roots music that is equal parts Americana, bluegrass, gospel and country, with a little bit of blues thrown in for good measure. “What makes me want to do this is I just love it,” she says. “I just really, really love it.” She performs about 150 shows a year, and touring is a family affair. Her mother took a leap of faith and gave up her nursing career to travel. Father Randall Hamilton plays upright bass, her brother is on mandolin, Uncle Bobby is on drums and Aunt Kristal sells merchandise. “It’s fun, like how I get to be with my family all the time.” Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the show begins at 8 p.m. Find Skyflight Productions on Facebook; 423-276-2653.
It’s Good Mansion’s favorite tasting of the year — when they open a flight of beautiful, elegant whites and reds from France’s eastern Alsace region. At 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, explore the complexity and grace of some of the world’s best dry Rieslings, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir. Served with triple creme cheeses and baguettes. Presented by the staff of Good Mansion Wines. $15 at the door, no reservations needed. Occupancy limited to 40
ON THE BIG SCREENS
Float with a flick at the Wheeling Park pool for the Summer Dive-In Movie Saturday, Aug. 11, “The Avengers.” Admission for kids (ages 4-12), $6.25; and for adults, $7.25, however, the movie is free with cost of pool admission. The movie also can be enjoyed free of charge from the upper level of the Stone building. 304-243-4085.
LUNCH WITH BOOKS
“How the Hare Krishna Movement Came to West Virginia” is the topic of Lunch With Books, at noon Tuesday, Aug. 14, at the Ohio County Public Library. A PowerPoint presentation of over 100 visuals will offer an overarching view of the movement’s origins in India to New Vrindaban today. It delves into Swami Prabhupada’s improbable journey to America in 1965 at age 70, and the socio-political climate of the 1960s in which the movement flourished and quickly spread all over the world. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of New Vrindaban this month, Andy Fraenkel shares why two early Hare Krishna devotees choose to move to West Virginia in 1968, Prabhupada’s vision for New Vrindaban and an update on the community today. Fraenkel is a recipient of 2005 W.Va. Artist Fellowship Award, an Indie Book Award, a Storytelling World Resource Award and an Ohio River Border Initiative Grant. He is a longtime resident of the community. His book, Mahabharata: The Eternal Quest, is a rendition of India’s ancient epic. Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch, and complimentary beverages are provided. Call the Ohio County Public Library at 304-232-0244 or visit the library’s website at www.ohiocountylibrary.org for more information.