A COOL EVENING
Slide into a beautiful evening of holiday music accented by professional and local skaters at the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra’s annual holiday event at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5. Main Street Bank and EQT Foundation Present Symphony on Ice, conducted by Music Director John Devlin, is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling. The program will feature professional skaters, Jeremy Abbott and Katie McBeath, along with Pittsburgh and Wheeling skate clubs, Pittsburgh Theatre on Ice, Steel City Blades and other special surprise guests. Over 350 local middle and high school choir students also participate in the event. 304-232-6191; wheelingsymphony.com
NEW ARTISTS FEATURED
Brush up on the newest artists at Artworks Around Town this month. Three artists juried into Artworks this year will present their work during a special exhibit at the Studio Gallery. Beverly West, Karen Catlett and Dallin Evans will greet the public at a free reception during the Gallery Hop on Friday, Dec. 6, from 5:30-8 p.m. The Student Gallery will feature the works of students from Martins Ferry Middle and High schools under the direction of Natalie Zambori. Artworks is located at 2200 Market St. in Wheeling’s Historic Centre Market. artworksaroundtown.com
You’ll be slashing through the snow as Mystery Theatre Unlimited’s interactive musical-comedy, murder-mystery show, “Slay Ride II: Fright Christmas or It’s a Wonderful Knife” will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at the Vue Bar and Grill in Grand Vue Park, Moundsville, and again on Thursday, Dec. 12, at River City Restaurant in Wheeling. There is nothing silent about this night as this installment of the original comedy troupe’s holiday “Slay Ride” series finds Santa in double-jeopardy with a hostile takeover brewing, threatening his workshop, and a serial killer is on the loose in the North Pole. The result is a darkly funny tale of a Santa stalker compounded with a corporate takeover plot. It is laced with references to horror movies as well as seasonal humor and sprinkled with a few Christmas song send-ups. For reservations at The Vue, call 304-810-2778 or at River City, 304-233-4555. www.MysteryTheatreUnlimited.com
VISIONS OF SUGARPLUMS
Don’t miss this holiday favorite as Oglebay Institute’s School of Dance presents several performances of “The Nutcracker” throughout the holiday season. Performances are set for 1 and 3 p.m. on Dec. 8 and 15, at the Mansion Museum in Oglebay Park. Tea and photos with OI’s elegantly dressed ballerinas will delight children after each performance at the Mansion. There will be performances at 3 and 7 p.m. on Dec. 22, and 7 p.m. on Dec. 23, at Towngate Theatre. Call 304-242-7700 or www.OIonline.com for reservations.
CANDY CANES & COCOA
At the Candy Cane Hunt, craft a holiday bag, and then walk along the nature trails around the Oglebay Institute Schrader Environmental Education Center to see how many candy canes you can find. Certain ones may win you a prize! Bundle up. Bring a flashlight, too. Then, warm up with hot chocolate after the hunt. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Candy Cane Hunts are set for 4-5 p.m. on Dec. 7 and 11. $12 ($10 OI members) per child with accompanying adult. Pre-registration required. Register online or by phone at 304-242-6855.
‘THE LITTLEST ANGEL’
This classic Christmas story of a little angel who is transformed from a celestial pest to the toast of the Heavenly Host comes to life onstage at Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre. Evening performances of “The Littlest Angel” take place at 7 p.m. Dec. 6, 7, 13 and 14. A matinee performance is set for 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. Tickets can be purchased at www.OIonline.com or by calling 304-242-7700. Tickets can also be purchased at the door, if available.
ON THE GO
Join the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra’s String Quintet for a special WSO on the GO holiday concert at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in the Hickman Lounge at Oglebay’s Wilson Lodge.
Experience the magic of Christmas at Wheeling University’s first Christmas tree lighting at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. The evening kicks off with the arrival of Santa Claus, performances by Nathan Foster and Kaitlin Shields, caroling by students from St. Michael’s, Wheeling Central Catholic High School and St. Vincent de Paul. There will be cookies, hot cocoa and pictures with Santa.
Live music that is familiar, yet not often performed, will be featured from 9 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Dec. 7, as Undo’s Elm Grove presents the eclectic sounds of the Deep State band. Designed to appeal to people over the age of 35, the band’s repertoire includes music from Blind Faith to Amy Winehouse to Buddy Holly to the Travelling Willburys. Undo’s is located at 2153 National Road, Wheeling.
LIGHTS ON AND RIDE!
Bike through the Oglebay Festival of Lights for the 12th annual Oglebay Christmas Lights Bicycle Ride, hosted by Brew Keepers on Saturday, Dec. 7. The post-ride gathering will be at Brew Keepers in Centre Market. Riders should be able to maintain a 10mph pace over the route. Visit the Facebook page for ride option details.
Shop for gifts while enjoying refreshments and a festive atmosphere from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7! Inspired by the independent craft fair movement throughout the country, Wheeling Heritage’s Handmade Holiday strives to establish a marketplace of unique and creative handmade goods that supports local artists. Thirty-five vendors will be selling their wares at Handmade Holiday at the Wheeling Artisan Center, 1400 Main St., Wheeling.
CENTRE MARKET OPEN HOUSE
Centre Market is hosting a Holiday Open House from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. Shop local for unique finds, enjoy yummy food and check out Wheeling’s breweries. The Wheeling Symphony Auxiliary will sponsor a Children and Families Concert, and SMART Centre Market will present the “Science of Stringed Instruments” from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Artworks Around Town, with the concert beginning at 12:45 p.m.
Get in the holiday spirit with the Warwood Christmas Market, set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Kids can chat with Santa and Mrs. Claus and make a gift for their parents in Santa’s workshop, while adults and kids of all ages shop more than 50 local and homemade vendors for the perfect gifts. The event, hosted by Grow Warwood Pride, Warwood Farmers Market and Warwood School, will be held at the Warwood School gymnasium.
BROADWAY TO POP TO CLASSICAL
Budding musicians will perform during the Wheeling Symphony Youth Orchestra’s fall concert set for 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center at Wheeling Park High School. Broadway tunes, pop hits and classical favorites will be presented by the WSYO. The Sinfonietta, composed of middle school-aged students led by Triadelphia Middle School strings teacher, Rayce Leib, will perform George Gershwin’s An American In Paris, Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer, Dr. Seuss’s Welcome Christmas and an original work by Leib, Concerto for Violin and Cello. The Philharmonic, under the direction of Ben Podolski, will deliver three challenging but entertaining selections: the overture from Gioacchino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville; Suite from Hamilton, which includes six songs from the award-winning Broadway show; and Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson. The concert is free, but donations are appreciated to help the Wheeling Symphony Youth Orchestra continue its tradition of providing a tuition-free opportunity for its members and to enable them to perform free concerts to the public each year. wheelingsymphony.com
Learn all you need to know at Experience Linsly Day from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. This event is for any family with children entering grades 5-11, is interested in learning more about a Linsly education. Learn about financial aid and scholarship opportunities, meet Linsly teachers and students, and learn about the curriculum and opportunities at Linsly. Register online.
Every month in 2019, Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library has offered at least one program looking at the city’s treasured past in observation of the 250th anniversary of Wheeling’s founding. At noon Tuesday, Dec. 10, for the finale of this series, a panel of some of Wheeling’s leaders and visionaries will discuss their hopes looking forward toward the next 250 years for the city. Mayor Glenn Elliott, Ron Scott Jr. (cultural diversity and community outreach director at the YWCA) and Betsy Sweeny (historic preservation program manager at Wheeling Heritage) will discuss their visions for Wheeling’s bright future. 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
OPEN HOUSE, OPEN BOTTLES
Good Mansion Wines will devote each Friday wine tasting in December to an open house tasting. The open house format features a bounty of holiday wines along with foods from the deli and live music. 6 p.m. $15 at the door, no reservations needed. Occupancy limited to 40.
DOWN THE ROAD …
• Randall Reid-Smith, curator of the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, will present a special program about the life and career of Eleanor Steber, one of the first American-trained opera singers to achieve international recognition. The program will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec.14, in the auditorium on the lower level of West Virginia Independence Hall. Born in Wheeling in 1914, Steber won the Metropolitan Opera’s auditions in 1940, launching her career with a contract at the Met where she was one of its leading artists through 1961. Outside of the Metropolitan Opera, Steber was a featured regular on television’s Bell Telephone and Firestone Tire broadcasts. She taught voice at the Juilliard School and at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She died in 1990. Throughout her life, Steber frequently visited and performed in Wheeling. Her last performance with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra was led by guest conductor Arthur Fiedler of the Boston Pops. The program is free and open to the public.
• The Enchanted Winter Breakfast, hosted by Youth Services System Inc. and Generations Restaurant & Pub, is a brand-new event, set for 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Generations Restaurant & Pub, in Wheeling. Guests young and old are invited to dress in costume! Bring the kids or grandkids to enjoy the excitement of a pancake breakfast with everyone’s favorite ice queen, ice princess and snowman. Additional activities include a photo booth, balloon wands and swords, a snowflake craft, a talking reindeer prize drawing and face painting. Proceeds benefit the Youth Services System Inc. Winter Freeze Shelter, which provides a warm, safe place to sleep for anyone who needs it. Tickets are $10, available on Eventbrite.com, through the event listing on the YSS Facebook page and at youthservicesystem.org.
• Get in the holiday spirit with Clientele Art Studio on Saturday, Dec.14, for the second annual Deck the Halls Art Show. A live auction featuring custom-painted skate decks by more than 15 of Wheeling’s talented artists will take place with all proceeds going to the Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless. The show runs from 8 p.m. to midnight. Light refreshments will be served by Whisk.
• Enjoy a family-friendly Christmas concert at Christmas in the Valley, 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at The Capitol Theatre. The concert features Ernie Haase & Signature Sound and the valley’s own Ron Retzer Trio. The concert will showcase all genres of Christmas songs — gospel, country, pop and oldies. Doors open at 6 p.m. A portion of the proceeds benefit Heaven Bound Ministries and Celebrate Recovery. $25.
UP THE ROAD …
• Yinzer Yuletide is Pittsburgh Public Theater’s brand-new holiday entertainment experience at downtown’s O’Reilly Theater. The festivities begin with the theater’s large front windows glowing with decorations inspired by department store displays of yesteryear. The holiday presence will continue inside the theater with shopping for Love Pittsburgh items, a Santa’s Workshop gift area for kids, and Nebby and Nice bars offering everything from hot chocolate and Curly Tail coffee (which helps support animal rescue) to craft cocktails. Yinzer Yuletide’s signature event is the live variety show, Pittsburgh Lights & Legends, hosted by WQED star Rick Sebak. The O’Reilly stage will become Rick’s cozy living room, where he will welcome an array of sparkling guests. At each of the eight performances will be Pittsburgh icons Lenora Nemetz and Etta Cox; 7-year-old vocal phenomenon Victory Brinker; rocker Josh Verbanets; juggler and clown O’Ryan the O’Mazing; and Ben Prisbylla, whose Ukes & Suits is a YouTube sensation. Also featured will be TV clips of holiday lights in local neighborhoods. Pittsburgh Lights & Legends runs at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, Dec. 12–15 and Dec. 19–22. On weekends during Yinzer Yuletide, join Clark Griswold and his family for the 30th anniversary of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The classic film will be screened at 9:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 13, 14, 20 and 21 at The O’Reilly. Yinzer Yuletide also has a movie and more for the kids. At 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 14, 15, 21 and 22, bring the little ones to Breakfast With Santa & Mickey’s Christmas Carol. For tickets: 412-316-1600, ppt.org or The O’Reilly Box Office.