Martins Ferry Winterfest

Festival offers craft beers and a visit from Santa Claus

T-L Photo/DYLAN McKENZIE Members of Martins Ferry Project Forward meet to discuss the upcoming Winterfest celebration in Martins Ferry. The group is working to make sure that a good time will be had by all at the event.

MARTINS FERRY — The city’s first Winterfest, slated for Friday and Saturday at the Hanover Street gazebo, will feature the city’s annual Christmas parade, Santa Claus, vendors and much more.

Organized by the Project Forward Group, the festivities will include food vendors, a variety of craft beers and live music on both days.

Friday’s entertainment will kick off with music by Shannon Canterbury from 4-6 p.m. A break will be taken to watch the city’s Christmas parade that begins at 6:30 p.m. After the parade, the city’s tree will be lighted. Musical entertainment also will be provided by Hit Play from 8-10 p.m.

A Winterfest Art Show also is set up at the Ohio Valley Lending building featuring artwork from Martins Ferry High School students. A reception for the show is slated from 4-6 p.m. Friday with cookies and hot chocolate.

On Saturday at 9 a.m. a Jingle Bell Run for children 10 years old and younger is planned. From 10 a.m. to noon, Santa Claus will visit children in the gazebo and be available for photos. Magician Michael Strough will perform at 1 p.m. in the Martins Ferry Public Library auditorium.

Ice skating will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the synthetic rink that will be set up on Fifth Street. The rink is 20 feet wide and 40 feet long.

A craft and vendor sale also will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. Musical entertainment will include: from 4-6 p.m. Bill Gorby with the Musical Mercenaries; Greg Molnar from 6:30-7:30 p.m.; and from 8-10 p.m. MSM.

An Ohio State University Buckeyes football tailgate party also will be held with the game starting at noon Saturday.

“We’re going to have multiple 65-inch TVs under a tent, like a beer garden with food and craft beers,” said Chris Cleary, a Project Forward member and city service director.

In case the weather is chilly, organizers also plan to have warming barrels on site to provide some heat.

“This works with our plan to bring people to Martins Ferry as a … step to rejuvenate our economic base and bring attractions to Martins Ferry. It shows there’s life here and businesses can thrive here,” Cleary said.

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