The Twelfth Night Costume Ball officially will launch the celebration of Wheeling’s 250th anniversary, at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, at Glessner Auditorium, Wilson Lodge at Oglebay Park. Dress in any fashion style from 1769-2019, and dance to the music of Hitplay. Enjoy a buffet dinner, beer and wine bar, and the Wheeling Feeling signature cocktail. $100 per person at the door; www.Wheeling250.net


Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre will host several free programs Friday, Jan. 4, as part of Wheeling’s monthly First Fridays event. Doors open at 6 p.m. Attendees can view the latest exhibit in The Gallery at Towngate featuring the work of photographer Gary Zearott, who specializes in aerial, panoramic and arts photography, capturing the architectural and natural beauty of the Upper Ohio Valley. Guests can also watch a screening of “For Liberty and Union,” a 20-minute motion picture about the 1861 convention that led to West Virginia breaking away from Confederate Virginia during the Civil War and becoming a state. At 8 p.m., The Crazy 8s, Towngate’s youth improv comedy troupe, will perform in the theater. Sponsored by Main Street Bank, all Towngate First Friday programs are free and open to the public. Guests can also enjoy a glass of wine, craft beer and light snacks. The first drink is complimentary. www.oionline.com

Crazy 8s improv troupe will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4, at Towngate Theatre. Cast members include, front row, from left: Stephanie Ebarb, Amilea Harder, Adam Marquart, Dailey Ward and Dharani Dove. Second row, from left: Emma Tipton, Vivian Bloomfield, Holden Farnsworth, Adam McCracken and Ty Schamach; back row, Elle Artman and Tim Thompson.

In celebration of 2019 — the Year of the Earth Pig  (or Boar) — Artworks Around Town gallery curator Betsy Cox invited members of Artworks to create works in all media interpreting the year of the pig.  The exhibit will open with a free reception from 5:30-8 p.m. Jan. 4. The pig occupies the last position in the Chinese zodiac. According to legend,  personality traits of people born under this sign are happy, easygoing, honest, trusting, educated, sincere and brave. Dark sides of the pig people include stubbornness, over-reliant, self-indulgent, quick to anger and materialistic. Member artists used medium from two-dimensional paintings and photographs, to three-dimensional ceramic or sculpture pieces.  According to Cox, “This theme is rarely seen in art shows” and should provide a wide array of interesting work. The North Gallery will display  work of students who participate in the weekly workshops held at Artworks; 304-233-7540.
The 2018-19 Mountain Moon Coffeehouse series continues Saturday, Jan. 5, with the Cabin Fever String Band, at the Stifel Fine Arts Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the music to begin at 7 p.m. Coffee, tea and light snacks are included with the ticket price. Beer and wine are available for purchase. Formed in 1986, Cabin Fever has taken its distinctive blend of old-time country, gospel and bluegrass music to audiences throughout the tri-state region and has performed in a variety of settings including square dances, festivals, fairs, coffeehouses, churches and concerts. Age-old ballads, fiddle tunes from their native state of West Virginia and the southern Appalachian region, sentimental songs from the days of early recorded country music, spiritual songs, traditional bluegrass favorites, and even the occasional blues, jug band, or Celtic tune all are represented in an interesting repertoire that includes both commonly known and obscure material. Band members include Scott Black on fiddle, vocals and dance; Richard Pollack on clawhammer banjo, fiddle, bass, and vocals; Matt Hines on acoustic string bass and banjo; Jim Simpson on mandolin and vocals and Bob Heyer on guitar and vocals. Admission is $15/$12.50 (OI Members). 304-242-6855; www.oionline.com



As part of the Wheeling 250 celebration, Travis Henline will discuss the upper Ohio Valley’s 16,000 years of indigenous history, at Lunch With Books, noon, Tuesday, Jan. 8, at the Ohio County Public Library. This presentation will cover the ancient sites, artifacts and life ways of Wheeling’s first peoples. It will also touch on the experiences of Native peoples during the contact period of the 17th and 18th centuries. Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch, and complimentary beverages are provided. 304-232-0244 www.ohiocountylibrary.org


A digital lottery for “Hamlton” tickets will be held in conjunction with the show’s run (through Jan. 27) in Pittsburgh at the Benedum Center. Forty tickets will be sold for every performance for $10 each. Use the official app for HamiltonMusical.com/app or visit HamiltonMusical.com/lottery to register. The lottery will open at 11 a.m. two days prior to the performance date and will close for entry at 9 a.m. the day prior to the performance. Winner and non-winner notifications will be sent at approximately 11 a.m. the day prior to the performance via email and SMS (if mobile number is provided). “Hamilton” is the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first treasury secretary. www.trustarts.com


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