POINT PLEASANT — Next weekend offers a unique opportunity for those visiting Mason County, with not one, but two fall festivals going on at the same time; both celebrating times gone by.
First up, Battle Days returns, starting Friday, Oct. 6 and continuing that Saturday and Sunday. Battle Days will celebrate the 242nd anniversary of the Battle of Point Pleasant which occurred on Oct. 10, 1774. Events take place at Tu-Endie-Wei State Park.
Events will kick off that Friday at 10 a.m. with the Mansion House Museum tours, crafts, encampments, and demonstrations. Many local school children are also treated to demonstrations on Friday, transporting them back in time to learn about colonial history. The museum will close at 4:30 p.m. Ending the evening will be the popular Lantern Tour starting at 7:30 p.m. at the park. During these tours, which last until 9:30 p.m., speakers will commemorate the important moments and persons of “The Battle.”
The festival will continue that Saturday, Oct. 7, at 10 a.m., at the park, again with tours of the Mansion House, crafts, activities, and entertainment sponsored by the Main Street Merchants.
At 11 a.m., the Battle Days Parade will roll down Main Street. Line up is 10 a.m. near Main Street Baptist Church and travels Main Street to Tu-Endie-Wei State Park. Businesses, civic groups, bands, and queens are encouraged to enter the procession. This year’s theme is “Point Pleasant First,” but if a group is not from Point Pleasant just use “First” in the theme.
The John Marshall Fife and Drum Corps performs at 11:30 a.m. at the park. The elementary school chorus will start singing at noon, and at 1 p.m. several events will start, including: Center Shot Ministries (Archery), a Chief Cornstalk reenactor, and Colonial Games (for kids); at 1:30 p.m. a Daniel Boone reenactor will be on hand along with a group playing era-correct music on dulcimers.
Also starting at 1:30 p.m. Randell Jones, a guest author will be making a presentation and will do a meet-and-greet with the public from 2-4 p.m.; Chief Cornstalk will return at 2:30 p.m.; and Daniel Boone again at 3 p.m. Then at 4 p.m. a performance by the Kootaga Indian Dancers.
At 6 p.m. there will be a Colonial Governor’s Reception at Sacred Heart Catholic Church for Sons of the American Revolution members only. The evening will end with the Colonial Ball at Sacred Heart Catholic Church from 8-10 p.m which is free for the public and open to anyone ages 13 and up. Colonial dress is encouraged but not required.
Sunday, Oct. 8, will feature an outdoor early colonial church service at 10 a.m. at the park. A luncheon will be served for Compatriots and their ladies at 12:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church. Cost is $25 per person.
Also on Sunday, a memorial service for the fallen soldiers at the Battle of Point Pleasant will start at 2 p.m. at Tu-Endie-Wei State Park. Speaking will be Larry T. Guzy, president general of the National Society of Sons of the American Revolution. NSSAR District Vice-President Generals, State Presidents and their Compatriots, Color Guard Units and DAR and CAR will be in attendance for this formal ceremony. The public is invited. There will be a wreath-laying ceremony during the memorial service.
The Mansion House Museum will be open from 1-4:30 p.m. that day as well.
Admission to the actual Battle Days festival at the park, is free.
Just north of Point Pleasant, the County Fall Festival will be taking place Oct. 7-8 at the West Virginia State Farm Museum. There will be an Antique Tractor Pull Saturday at 1 p.m., CEOS Quilt Show all weekend long, Antique Bottle Show and Sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m, Saturday, musical entertainment, a church service on Sunday at 9 a.m., Gospel Sing on Sunday at 1:30 p.m., and the Country Store and Country Kitchen will be open. There will be fun and games for the entire family. In addition, there will be molasses and apple butter making — both will be sold while supplies last. There will also be apple cider as well as vegetable soup cooked over an open flame for sale. There will also be demonstrations and exhibits open to all.
The 31st annual Harvest of Quilts show, featured during the festival, is hosted by the Mason County Community Educational Outreach Service (CEOS) members. All quilters are invited to exhibit a quilt in four categories — Large Quilts (hand quilted), Large Quilts (machine quilted), Small Quilts (hand quilted), Small Quilts (machine quilted). There is another category which was added in the past two years for those who don’t have the time or desire to make a bed size quilt or wall hanging. The theme for this year’s exhibit is Thanksgiving, and for those who aren’t entering an entire quilt, they may enter a block representing Thanksgiving.
Quilts will not be judged but the visitors to the show will be asked to vote on their favorite in all categories. There will be monetary prizes for first and second places and an Honorable Mention ribbon for third place.
The Antique Bottle Show and Sale, organized by local Charlie Perry, will feature milk bottles, stoneware, advertising, beer, soda machine, druggist, paper items, Coca Cola, Pepsi, small antiques, fruit jars. Free appraisals.
All weekend long, visitors can tour the grounds of the museum, taking in everything from a one-room schoolhouse to a blacksmith shop. The Christopher H. Bauer Memorial Museum, which opened in 2015 at the museum, features trophy and exotic animals, along with a display of unique firearms, knives and hunting tools.
Parking and admission into the festival is free.