EVENTS: Lights, Music, Art, Tea, Wine!

The switch is being flipped tonight! At 6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 8, the Oglebay hills will be alive with more than a million twinkling lights at the Winter Festival of Lights — just as it has since 1985. But there are some exciting new features, such as the 3D “Sleigh Bans” eyewear with holographic lenses, which transform every point of light into a magical display. “This holographic technology adds a new perspective to the show,” said Rod Haley, Oglebay’s senior vice president. “Over the last couple of years, with the conversion of the show to LED and RGB, we’re now able to enhance the show in new ways. It’s an exciting new twist.” For a $25 donation, guests will receive a Winter Festival of Lights season pass and a family four-pack of 3D Sleigh Bans eyewear featuring four unique holographic lenses. Plus, guests will also receive more than $25 in money-saving coupons redeemable at various shops and attractions throughout the park.

The Gardens of Light attraction features 150 twinkling hanging baskets, thousands of lighted flowers and trees, and a festive Nativity display.


The Wheeling Film Society continues its seventh season of classic Hollywood films with a free screening of Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove,” to be shown at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre. A conversation about the film, led by John Whitehead, professor of film studies at Wheeling Jesuit University, will take place at noon Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Ohio County Public Library’s Lunch With Books. If you can’t imagine the end of life on Earth as a suitable subject for laughs, you haven’t seen the inspired Peter Sellers play three different roles (including the President of the United States AND the mastermind of the nuclear bomb), or the manic George C. Scott nearly steal the film as a lunatic general (six years before his Oscar for Patton). 304-242-7700;



Experience big city jazz at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, as Jazz at the Stifel presents the Jenny Wilson Trio, a jazz ensemble focusing on original music as well as classic and contemporary standards. Jenny Wilson, a composer, pianist, flutist and vocalist, is from Queens, N.Y., and is a graduate of West Virginia University’s master of music jazz pedagogy program. Her composing, warm vocal style and articulate piano playing have earned her a full-time career in music performance. Bassist Nathan Wilson, Jenny’s husband, also performs with the Squonk Opera from Pittsburgh. Drummer David Glover is the director of the music program at Slippery Rock University. He is a member of the Balcony Big Band and plays regularly with the Jenny Wilson Trio. While enjoying a selection of desserts and wines available for purchase, guests can explore the historic home and view the art on display in the galleries. $20. 304-242-7700;


West Liberty University’s Nutting Gallery will showcase paintings by award-winning artist Thomas Wharton in its latest art exhibition, “Courting Wonder,” on display through Thursday, Nov. 15. A former resident of Wheeling, Wharton recently returned after building a successful career in New York City. He has won the Georgie Read Barton Award, the Windsor Newton Award, The Katlin Seascape Award (twice) and the Richard C. Pionk Memorial Prize for Painting, among others. He also received the Certificate of Excellence by the Portrait Society of America. Before moving to New York, Wharton studied at West Virginia University where he earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano. He briefly taught piano at West Liberty. He also studied at the Art Student’s League of New York, the New York Academy of Art, the Grand Central Academy and the National Academy of Design. Wharton has written and illustrated a children’s book, “Hildegard Sings,” about an aspiring opera singing hippo who loses her voice.

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Opening Thursday, Nov. 8, the Wheeling Heritage’s art exhibit, “Portrait of America,” will feature 55 ultra-realistic portrait paintings by Wheeling artist Alan Fitzpatrick. It will run through Nov. 29 on the third floor of the Artisan Center, 1400 Main St. A free opening reception will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8. An 18th-century historian, author and lecturer, Fitzpatrick recently returned to his childhood passion for painting and drawing. He has drawn and painted many of the subjects that he has written about, as well as many Native people that he has met in the past years during his travels to the American Southwest. Fitzpatrick’s portraits capture the emotion and spirit of individuals in an ultra-realistic style. This body of 55 pieces of his work, with both historical characters and contemporary models, is a testament to his passion for bringing the shared human expression of emotion and character to life. Fitzpatrick is a member of Wheeling’s Independent Artists Group, a life-drawing and painting group that meets weekly at the Stifel Fine Arts Center in Wheeling. The Artisan Center gallery is open to the public 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.


Wheeling artist Cheryl Ryan Harshman’s exhibit “Crossroads” is on display at the Gallery on 43rd St., 187 43rd St., in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Check out her paintings now through Dec. 31. The gallery is open noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.


Welcome the holiday season with an afternoon tea at the historic Stifel Mansion. An annual tradition, the Stifel Holiday Tea takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, at Oglebay Institute’s Stifel Fine Arts Center, which is elegantly decorated for the holidays. The event is free and open to the public and is a perfect opportunity to socialize with friends. Guests of all ages are welcome. There are lots of holiday decorations to enjoy along with tea sandwiches, cookies and hot tea. Guests can browse and shop the Holiday Art Show and Sale, which features hundreds of one-of-a-kind items for sale by dozens of local artisans. Oglebay Institute’s Festival of Trees will also be on display for guests to view. 1300 National Road, Wheeling; 304-242-7700;

Guests will gather in the living room of the Stifel Fine Arts Center, the former home of industrialist Edward W. Stifel that was once known as Edemar Mansion, for the annual Stifel Holiday Tea. The event takes place from 2-4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, and is free and open to the public. Pictured is Oglebay Institute assistance director of fine arts Kala Bassa, left, and Oglebay Institute director of dance Cheryl Pompeo.


Good Mansion Wines will offer up some amiable red wine pairings for the Thanksgiving Day table — new world Pinot Noir, Merlot, as well as French Beaujolais, Italian Fumin and Chambave, a sweet red sparkling to finish with the pumpkin pie, and a port for afterward around the fire. Wines will be served with Thanksgiving Day triple creme and blue cheeses and baguettes. $15, no reservations needed.