POINT PLEASANT — The logistics of the Mothman Festival include preparing for an influx of an estimated 10-12,000 people pouring into Point Pleasant this weekend.
Festival Organizer Jeff Wamsley has been working with a host of local entities, like the City of Point Pleasant and the Mason County Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, to name a few, to ensure the event is executed as smoothly as possible.
This year, as in the past, additional parking will be made available at Krodel Park on Saturday only, starting at 7 a.m. Parking fee is $5 per car with all proceeds going to the city’s parks and recreation fund. Cars will be placed until the park is full which occurred around 3 p.m. last year. This parking area can hold around 400 vehicles.
In addition, an optional shuttle will be running between Krodel and Second Street and will be operated by the Mason County Action Group. The shuttle will accept donations with all donations going to benefit area senior citizens. The shuttle service will continue throughout the day.
Mayor Brian Billings, who will be assisting with the parking of cars, along with other city officials, said this year, due to the bridge closure at 6th Street, the shuttle route has been altered from previous years.
Billings said the shuttle will leave Krodel Park, make a left at the intersection of the bypass for W.Va. 2, turn at Jones Street (the street between Piggly Wiggly and the Mason County Tourism Center), drive to First Street, turn right, then travel on to Main Street, turning at the former Point Pleasant River Museum building, then stop at Second Street near the Gene Salem Senior Center. The shuttle will then return to the Krodel, returning those to their cars and picking up more travelers who wish to use the service.
The bridge replacement has already caused some delays with the normal flow of traffic but with this weekend’s onslaught of visitors, it’s expected to put more congestion on the detour. According to Brent Walker, a spokesperson for the West Virginia Division of Highways, the bridge replacement project near the bypass area is expected to be completed in late October.
Motorists should also be aware of increased pedestrian traffic from Krodel Park into the downtown area and the downtown area in general.
Billings said though the city encourages visitors to the festival, if residents are not planning to attend, the downtown area should be avoided this weekend if at all possible.
Business is already booming for local hotels in the region, with many nearby rooms reportedly booked by festival goers. This is also one of the busiest weekends of the year for local merchants.
The festival has a kick-off event on Friday evening, but officially gets underway this Saturday and continues on Sunday. Admission is free.