POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Like it, love it, misunderstand it or totally dismiss it, there is no mistaking the impact the Mothman legend has had on the Ohio Valley.
In a little more than a week, thousands of people — an estimated 5,000 from all over the world, to be more exact — will descend on Point Pleasant and the Ohio Valley for the 2015 Mothman Festival. This year, the festival is dedicated to the late Bob Roach, sculptor of the famed Mothman statue in Gunn Park which is ground zero for the festival that takes places Sept. 19-20, primarily in downtown Point Pleasant.
The festival has grown in size and infamy over the years, giving an economic boost to not just Point Pleasant, but Mason County and beyond. In fact, hotel rooms are booking up from as far as 45 minutes to an hour away in neighboring counties. The Lowe Hotel in downtown Point Pleasant has had rooms booked a year in advance of the festival. According to Ruth Finley, owner of the Lowe Hotel, their haunted tours of the historic structure will once again take place this year and the hotel has remodeled some rooms into exclusive boutique rooms with the help of local artists.
Ashley Wamsley-Watts, one of the organizers of the Mothman Festival, said this year a new attraction will be horse-drawn wagon rides touring downtown Point Pleasant and a special “crypto friend” will be lurking about along with Mothman. In addition, though the “ghostbusters” arrive each year, this year divisions from West Virginia and Columbus, Ohio, will join forces to bring a fleet of Ecto 1 vehicles and a 30-foot tall “Stay -Puft” marshmallow man. Hillbilly zip line also returns on Main Street and this year, the famed Hillbilly Hot Dogs will be on the scene unveiling their new Mothman Dog.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Mothman Festival without the Men In Black, who will have their own official Ford LTD at the festival as seen in the “Men in Black” movie.
Also, Banjo Man (Neil James) from the hit TV show “Call of the Wildman” will be doing a meet-and-greet with fans of the show during the 2015 Mothman Festival.
For the athletic festival-goer, the Mothman 5K returns with more information on this event on the Mothman Festival’s website and Facebook page. Returning favorites also include the hay rides at TNT, bus tours of the TNT area, TNT area flyovers and tram rides through Point Pleasant. Tickets can be purchased for the hay rides, bus tours, flyovers and tram rides in front of the Mothman statue on the days of the festival or find the Mothman Festival on Facebook for more information or to book in advance. Tickets do go fast for these events and often sell out prior to the festival, though some seats remain at this time.
The Grumpy Peddlers will also be back again this year and be located in front of the Mothman Museum during the festival. Stop by and take some photos with their rare vintage motorbikes. Harris Steakhouse, the official Mothman diner, will also be hopping and open for business as will the Mothman Museum, which is celebrating its second festival in its new location.
The Mothman Pageants also return this year on Sept. 18-19. For more information or to sign up, find the Miss Mothman Pageants page on Facebook.
The historic State Theater will also be open and hosting free screenings of films and lectures from guest speakers.
For those who can’t wait, the itinerary can currently be found on the Mothman Festival’s webpage at www.mothmanfestival.com and on the festival’s Facebook page.
Admission into the festival is free and will also include concessions, live music and an assortment of unique vendors.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites