POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — With autumn comes one of the busiest times of year in Mason County when it comes to the tourism calendar.
The fall equinox on Sept. 22 is just a few days after the Mothman Festival, which lands in downtown Point Pleasant on Sept. 17-18, bringing thousands of people to Mason County. In fact, this year, organizers are expecting a record turnout in terms of the crowd. This could be attributed to the growth of the festival celebrating its 15th year, or the fact this is the 50th anniversary of the Mothman sightings in Mason County, or all of the above.
Admission is free to take in the sights and there are paid TNT bus tours, tram rides through downtown Point Pleasant and hayrides through TNT at the West Virginia State Farm Museum, available for purchase. Find the Mothman Festival on the web at www.mothmanfestival.com or on Facebook for more information, or stop by the information tent during the festival located in front of the Mothman statue.
Last week, organizers of the festival reported the anticipated crowd had grown from what was reported only a couple of weeks ago. Currently, more than 19,000 are “interested” in going to the festival on its Facebook page and another 4,500 have already confirmed they are attending. Organizers say the attendance numbers have grown by 1,000 every week since February, with people traveling from Alaska, California, Washington state, Florida, New York state, and all along the East Coast. International visitors from Dublin, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and more, are also expected at the festival.
If more interested in creatures that hang out near the water as opposed to near TNT, on Sept. 24, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Dragon Boat Festival, hosted by the Point Pleasant River Museum and Learning Center, returns to Krodel Park. This will be the fourth year for the popular competition in which dragon boats are sponsored by businesses and/or organizations and raced along the lake. Last year saw 11 teams row to the finish line. Call the river museum at 304-674-0144 for more information, to sign up to sponsor a boat, or volunteer to be a rower. Admission is free.
October will begin with the Country Fall Festival at the West Virginia State Farm Museum, north of Point Pleasant next to the Mason County Fairgrounds. This year, the festival is Oct. 1-2 and will feature apple butter, apple cider and sorghum making, an antique bottle show, a quilt show sponsored by Mason County CEOS Clubs, antique tractor pull and antique gas engine show, country church service and gospel sing, and more. The museum’s many displays will also be open to the public. Admission is free. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days of the festival.
This year, the Country Fall Festival and Battle Days do not happen on the same weekend, with Battle Days happening Oct. 7-9 at Tu-Endie Wei State Park and on Main Street. Battle Days celebrates the “revolutionary” history of Point Pleasant with speakers, living history displays, encampments, parade, a royal pageant court, a heritage queen, and educational programs for adults and children about life on the frontier.
Battle Days will end with a solemn wreathing laying ceremony at Tu-Endie-Wei on Sunday, Oct. 9, honoring militiamen who fought in what many argue was the first battle of the American Revolution. Battle Days commemorates the Battle of Point Pleasant that happened on Oct. 10, 1774. Also, on Oct. 7-9, there will be a Battle Days Encampment at Fort Randolph.
In the Town of Mason, the Harvest Festival, at the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W./Lottie Jenks Memorial Park, will take place Oct. 15. There will be carnival rides, bounce houses, pumpkin painting and more are slated for the event.
Fort Randolph will reopen later that same month on Oct. 28-30 for the Harvest Fest and All Hallows Eve Encampment at Fort Randolph at Krodel Park.
Complete details on the Dragon Boat Festival, Country Fall Festival, Battle Days, the Mason Harvest Festival and Harvest Fest and All Hallows Eve Encampment at Fort Randolph, will appear in upcoming editions of the Point Pleasant Register as the events get closer on the calendar.
Information for many of these activities released by the Mason County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.