Autumn Peaks with Oglebay Events

Autumn Peaks with Oglebay Events

By: Jeremy Morris

Oglebayfest is the pinnacle event of the fall season in the Ohio Valley. It brings together regional artists, food, and a host of traditional fall activities. It’s a weekend of fun that locals flock to regardless of rain or shine or the occasional flittering of snow. It is a homecoming weekend for many who grew up in the valley; for others, it is the place to be seen in your favorite fall attire. So hit the road for a weekend in Wheeling.

You will find the Good Zoo transformed into a Halloween wonderland full of hocus pocus and magical stops to entertain everyone. While Oglebayfest provides a pinnacle weekend at the park, Boo at the Zoo runs every weekend throughout October, beginning October 7th. This event has become a rite of passage for Ohio Valley kids and fills the zoo with tiny tots in costumes chasing candy and fun.

Both events provide a host of entertainment for the whole family. From trick-or-treating along a kid-friendly haunted trail to oompah bands and an array of seasonal beverages at the Rathskeller Shelter, there isn’t a reason for anyone in the family to stay home.

Oglebayfest brings culture and fun to The Hilltop

Oglebay Fest kicks off with the Phil Maxwell Artists’ and Gourmet Market. Oglebay Institute presents the market as one of the signature events within Oglebayfest. The market brings regional food and culture together at the Mansion Woods. With its curated entry, you are guaranteed to meet some of the region’s most talented working artists and craft makers. In addition, live music will fill the air throughout the three-day festival.

The parade kicks off Saturday’s schedule at 9:30. Come prepared for floats from regional organizations, but the parade’s highlight is the caravan of tractors. The Ohio County Country Fair is an integral part of the festival weekend. Hop the bus or trolley down to the Levenson Shelter for all the expected fall activities of a country fair: baking contests, 4-H projects, butter making, hog calling, fiddling, rock throwing, and plenty of livestock petting and observing.

The German-style Rathskeller is the spot for Saturday night. The party will offer dozens of seasonal and domestic brews and traditional German American food. Oompah bands and German-style beers rule the roost. Rathskeller is located at the Hess Shelter.

Recent additions to the fun are the Oglebayfest Cornhole Tournament and the .5k Beer Dash. The single elimination cornhole tournament at the Wagon Shed, next to Hess Shelter, on Saturday, October 8th at 2 p.m. Check-in begins at 1 p.m. Winners receive a $250 Oglebay gift card and a 2-night stay at Oglebay’s Wilson Lodge. Registration is limited to the first 16 two-person teams. The cost is $20 per team. To register, visit

On Sunday, October 9th, at 10 a.m., the 0.5K Beer Dash at Schenk Lake will take place. Race around the lake and try not to spill your beer! Winners will be determined by their finishing time and the amount of beer remaining in their mug. Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers in men’s and women’s categories. The cost is $20 and includes a souvenir mug and two beer refills. You must bring a valid ID to participate. Underage participants will receive non-alcoholic beverages. To register, visit Same-day registration begins on Sunday, October 9th, at 9 a.m. at Hess Shelter.

Boo at the Zoo always delights

What began in 1980 as an event to support animal care at the zoo has spawned into a tradition that Ohio Valley children. Boo at the Zoo kicks off at 5 p.m., Friday, October 7th, at the Good Zoo in Wheeling. Elaborately decorated stations string the tiny revelers along through the park, each station handing out some treats. Ohio Valley kids talk about Boo at the Zoo throughout the year.

This year also offers a digital scavenger hunt. Dash through the park, unlocking clues using QR codes and your smartphone. Those completing the scavenger hunt will be placed into a drawing for prizes, including Good Zoo admission tickets, family memberships, and animal encounters!

Tickets for Boo at the Zoo are timed to help manage crowd flow. Please pay attention to your allotted time. Purchase tickets here.

Good Zoo Admission

Adults (Ages 13+) | $13.95

Children (Ages 3-12) | $9.95

Ages 2 & Under | Free

Patron & Curator Zoo Members | Free

*Treat bags are free for all guests ages 3-12. Adults (ages 13+) and children ages 2 & under can purchase a treat bag for $5.00.

Train Ride

Non-Members | $5.00 each

Zoo Members | $4.00 each

Jumbo Jumper

Non-Members | $2.00 each

Zoo Members | $1.50 each

Tickets are available upon timed entry ticket purchase. Advance purchase is highly recommended. Capacities are limited per hour during the event. Rides will only be honored during the time on the ticket.

Parking & Shuttle Service: Oglebayfest offers free parking and shuttle service. Complimentary shuttle service will transport guests to various key locations, including Schenk Lake, Good Zoo, Mansion Museum, The Hilltop, Crispin Center, and Wilson Lodge.

For a complete schedule of Oglebayfest events, visit