Evening Cruises and Special Evening Events At Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park
Visitors to Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park near Parkersburg in Wood County typically arrive during the daytime hours throughout the summer, but there are special evening cruises scheduled as well, according to Donna Smith, Park Superintendent.
“Island Frolic, Family Fireworks, Sunday Sundae, and the Mansion by Candlelight were well attended last year and we are pleased to offer these island experiences for everyone, including folks who live nearby but maybe have never visited the island,” Smith explains.
Island Frolic is scheduled for June 14, 18, July 12, 26 and August 30 and rewards guests with a sternwheeler ride down the Ohio River to historic Blennerhassett Island at sunset. This evening event includes a narrated horse-drawn wagon ride, ½ hour free bicycle ride for children (13 and under), and a picnic snack of a hot dog, chips and a drink. Other food items are available for purchase. The Friends of Blennerhassett Gift Shop will be open.
The best seat for viewing Family Fireworks on August 16 is on Blennerhassett Island or while floating nearby on the Ohio River. The Island snack stand will be open when passengers are island bound, and then it’s onto the sternwheeler for river-front seating to view Parkersburg’s Homecoming Fireworks display. There also is an option of watching the fireworks from the island. Family Fireworks boards at Civitan Park in Belpre, Ohio.
The Sunday Sundae Cruise on July 20 and again on September 14 and 28 is a West Virginia three-hour tour that includes everyone’s favorite, ice cream, plus a sunset cruise around the island! This trip includes an island stop for your Sunday Sundae treat, and then a Blennerhassett Island and Ohio River evening cruise.
Mansion by Candlelight is scheduled for two nights only on October 10 and 11 and it is the high point of summer ambience, according to Pam Salisbury of Blennerhassett Island State Park. “Sternwheeler rides transport our guests back to the year 1805, where the Blennerhassetts are hosting a party on the island,” Salisbury explains. “On these two evenings the electricity is banished and the mansion and island are flame-lit, much like the early 19th century.” Music, dancing and a harvest dinner are some of the evening activities offered.
Reservations are required for evening events and available by phoning the park at (304) 420-4800. For additional information about the island, the Blennerhassett Mansion, activities, and museum and island hours, contact Blennerhassett Island State Park at (304) 420-4800 or go online to www.wvstateparks.com and click on Blennerhassett Island or Evening Cruises on the State Parks main page. A calendar of events at all WV State Park and Forests is available by mail or on the Web site and the special events at state parks and forests are also posted to the individual Web pages such as www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com.