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‘Festival of Trees’ arrives at Stifel Center

Photo by Joselyn King The Festival of Trees, a fundraiser sponsored by Oglebay Institute, is happening now through Nov. 19 at the Stifel Fine Arts Center in Wheeling.

WHEELING — The holidays are back at the Stifel Fine Arts Center and Oglebay Institute.

Patrons were greeted by and decorated trees, Christmas crafts — and some scaffolding outside — as the annual “Festival of Trees” celebration and fundraiser kicked off Thursday at the Stifel Fine Arts Center.

The public has the opportunity to purchase trees and Christmas items contributed and decorated by local artisans, and after purchase these will be delivered to their homes by Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration.

The festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, through Nov. 19.

Coinciding with the Festival of Trees is the start of the “Holiday Art Show and Sale,” taking place both at the mansion and at the Schrader Center at Oglebay Park. The event has grown to more than 60 vendors, necessitating two locations, explained Misty Klug, director of marketing and communications for Oglebay Institute.

After the Festival of Trees is over, the art show will continue from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, through Dec. 23.

“We’ve turned our facilities into an art market for the holidays,” she explained.

Among the items available are pottery, paintings, photography, jewelry, textiles, home decor and gourmet food. Happening outside the Stifel Center is the beginning of a $4.4 million capital improvement program set forth by Oglebay Institute, explained OI President Danielle McCracken.

The most immediate need within OI properties was a new roof for the Stifel mansion, and it is the biggest expense, she said.

“Last year was very challenging, and we did feel the effects of COVID on our special events,” McCraken said. “Fortunately, the community remained very generous to Oglebay Institute.

“People were generous in making sure programs could continue.”

The capital campaign was launched in July with a goal of raising $4.4 million, according to McCracken. She said the first $2.2 million raised will go toward the roof replacement, some improvements at Towngate Theatre, and other “immediate needs” on the OI properties.

The remaining $2 million would be placed in an endowment fund to assist with future repair needs. Thus far, $1.2 million has been raised, McCracken said.

Two holiday-themed events are happening Nov. 13 at the Stifel Mansion.

“Children’s Breakfast Among the Trees” events are slated for 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. until 12:45pm. $15 per person. The event is free to children ages 3 and under, but there is a charge for older children.

For adults, the Jenny Wilson Trio also will perform at 8 p.m. on Nov. 13 at the mansion at a Jazz Among the Trees event.

To register or obtain tickets for either event, call the Oglebay Institute offices at 304-242-7700.

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