Fall into the season with festive local events

Autumn has unofficially arrived, and our local communities have a jam-packed schedule of events for all ages to enjoy.

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The Mothman statue in Point Pleasant will take center stage during this weekend’s annual Mothman Festival.

From fall festivals to exciting local culture, most events are free or low-cost, which can be great for families looking to both have fun and stick to their budgets. First up this weekend a local legend will be celebrated with a variety of events. Yes, it’s officially Mothman Festival time.

The 17th annual festival will take place this Saturday and Sunday, with a special kick-off event 6 p.m. Friday at the Historic State Theater, located on Main Street in Point Pleasant, W.Va. The event will highlight three features from Small Town Monsters. Festival action gets underway 7 a.m. Saturday with the Mothman 5K. Other festival events include live entertainment, guest speakers, and a variety of Mothman/paranormal themed vendors, including artists, authors, merchants, crafts and food trucks. The festival will also host guided bus tours of the TNT area. On Saturday evening, head to the West Virginia State Farm Museum for the Mothman Hayrides. Hayride tickets are $5 each and will be available for purchase Saturday morning at the festival. Check out the Mothman Festival Facebook page for additional details.

Also this weekend, the Appalachian Art Festival will take place at the French Art Colony in Gallipolis, Ohio. The event will be held Saturday from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. with a $5 entry cost. The event is described as a “celebration of the culinary, visual and performing arts of Appalachia.” Many vendors are scheduled to appear and demonstrations are set to take place.

In Jackson, Ohio, you won’t want to miss the Annual Apple Festival, set for Sept. 18-22. The Apple Festival is a staple of the community. According to event organizers, the Jackson Apple Festival currently holds a World Record for the most people bobbing for apples. In addition, the festival holds the title of the largest lighted parade in the state of Ohio. With a full schedule, there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy. The event promises to be filled with fun, food, music, parades, crafts, contests and competitions. Also, be sure to stop by our Jackson Milton Office during the festival parade. We will be hosting special customer appreciation event from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. with free hotdogs, popcorn and something to tempt your sweet tooth. For more information on the festival, visit http://www.jacksonapplefestival.org.

More festival action is set for Sept. 20-22 in Meigs County, Ohio with the Pomeroy Sternwheel Regatta. The event is hosted by the Pomeroy Eagles with the support of the Pomeroy Volunteer Fire Department, Meigs County Historical Society and the Pomeroy Merchants Association. The Jim Sisson Memorial Fire Truck Parade will kick things off 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20. Opening ceremonies will follow at the river front. Headlining entertainment Carl Acuff Jr. Show will then perform from 8-11 p.m. Friday festival events will showcase carriage rides, a history walk through Pomeroy and entertainment featuring Blitzkrieg. On Saturday, a 5K run with the River Rat Racers will jump start the day at 9 a.m. Kayak races on the river are set for 2 p.m. Other festival activities include a chili cook-off, cornhole tournament and a performance by the Riverside Cloggers.

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OVB Chairman of the Board Jeff Smith presents a check in support of the upcoming Emancipation Celebration in Gallipolis. 

The Emancipation Celebration will return to Gallipolis Sept. 22-23. The weekend, which has been observed in Gallia County continuously since 1863, will feature West Virginia State University President Dr. Anthony Jenkins as its keynote speaker. The event will host a variety of activities, including baseball, sack racing, parades and dance contests. The celebration will get underway at 10 a.m. at the Gallia County Fairgrounds. Bill Jackson with Civil War Troops will hold a raising of the flag ceremony, while the Pledge of Allegiance will be led by the Gallia Sub-District Youth. Kids Fun Day activities are set for 10:30 a.m. In addition, the Wave on Wheels Newport Aquarium will host events from 1-2 p.m. and 2-3 p.m. during the celebration.

Autumn events continue in October starting with the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival in Milton. The event is slated for Oct. 4-7 and will take place at West Virginia Pumpkin Park. The festival, which began in 1986, is one of West Virginia’s largest fests. More than 100 skilled artisans will display crafts and there will be a variety of exhibits and demonstrations, such as blacksmithing, pottery making, quilting and woodworking. There will be live music as well. For more information, visit https://wvpumpkinpark.com/pumpkin-festival/.

Fall fun continues with the Battle Days Festival in Point Pleasant Oct. 5-7. The festival features a variety of historical re-enactments and demonstrations. Activities will take place at Tu-Endie-Wei State Park and Main Street. A parade is set for 11 a.m. Oct. 6. Also on tap Oct. 6-7 in Point Pleasant is the Country Fall Festival. The event, which takes place at the West Virginia State Farm Museum, boasts a variety of fall-themed activities for the whole family to enjoy. From demonstrations to delicious apple butter making, this is an event that will help you get in the autumn spirit.

The Bob Evans Farm Festival will return for the 48th year Oct. 12-14. Open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., the festival is $5 for adults while children ages 5 and under get in free. The event, which is a staple in Rio Grande, Ohio, is truly a family affair with a full schedule of crafts, demonstrations, festive food and activities. There also will be a Kids’ Farmyard Fun area with face painting, a hay bale maze, game tent, kiddie train rides, a corn pile and more. In addition, the weekend promises performances from lumberjacks and chainsaw carvers. Families will be able to meet furry friends from the Columbus Zoo as well. For a full schedule of events, visit http://www.bobevans.com.

In Jackson, check out the Foothills Art Festival, set for Oct. 14-16 at Canter’s Cave Lodge. The annual event is a long standing tradition held within the foothills of Southeastern Ohio and features approximately 100 artists and more than 500 works of art.

On Oct. 27, the Harvest Fest/Tales in the Tavern event will take place in Point Pleasant at Krodel Park’s Fort Randolph. Historical re-enactments are scheduled from 4-8 p.m.  Also Halloween enthusiasts won’t want to miss seeing The Pumpkin House in Kenova, W.Va., which also starts that weekend. The house is a unique fixture of local autumn fun as it is decorated with more than 3,000 carved pumpkins.

For more information on fall events scheduled for your community, contact your area chamber of commerce or tourism center. Be sure to check back here next month as we keep you posted on what Halloween events our area has in store. Remember to think Community First as you enjoy the autumn season!

OVB BANKit back in action

It might feel like summer with these recent sizzling temperatures, but the 2018-2019 academic year is well underway. With school in session, Ohio Valley Bank has once again resumed their BANKit program in area high schools.

The OVB BANKit program, which spans the entire length of the school year, reached approximately 390 students last year from participating schools in Ohio and West Virginia, including Gallia Academy High School, South Gallia High School, River Valley High School, Point Pleasant High School, Wahama High School, and the Mason County Career Center, which is comprised of students from Point Pleasant, Wahama and Hannan High Schools. Students ranged from freshmen to senior grade levels.

Created in 2010, the OVB BANKit program brings real-life banking lessons to the classroom in a fun, interactive format. OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush conducts each lesson, which typically takes place on a monthly basis at each participating school. The program works as a game in which students are given $100 in “buzz bucks,” the OVB BANKit currency. Students have the option to invest their buzz bucks as they wish among different accounts, including CDs, money market, basic checking and savings. They also have the option to purchase and sell shares of stock in the game’s mock company, Pseudosoft.

During each visit students draw a Real Life Card, which may force them to pay an unforeseen bill or provide them with expected cash. Students also have a chance to manage their banking and make deposits/withdrawals in their accounts. This interactive portion of the program is essential as students learn to fill out basic bank paperwork as well as practice vital money management skills.

In addition to the game aspect, each BANKit visit includes a lesson on a financial topic. Lessons set for this academic year include:

  1. Basic differences in bank account types
  2. Filling out bank paperwork, such as deposits and withdrawals; check writing; updating check register
  3. Reading a bank statement
  4. Credit/Cost of Credit/Credit Reports/Credit Scores
  5. Budgeting
  6. Identity Theft
  7. Credit vs. Debit
  8. Interest

For more information on the OVB BANKit program and other financial education programs, visit http://www.ovbc.com and/or contact Roush at hdroush@ovbc.com.