Once again, Sistersville will play host to a three-day extravaganza dedicated to the history of glass toys. The 12th Annual Marble Festival will be held Sept. 23-25 in the downtown area.
Marblers from far and wide will gather in the streets to buy, sell and trade the glass toys, watch marbles being made, participate in marble tournaments, attend a marble auction and play Bingo courtesy of the Friendly Lions Club.
Food and craft vendors will also be on-hand to add to the enjoyment.
This year’s limited edition marble will feature a photograph of Dave McCullough of Jabo Marble, Inc. McCullough is a long-time supporter of the Sistersville Marble Festival.
The event celebrates the history of 'marble mania' that swept the country in the early to mid 1900s.
At one time, there were over 25 marble factories within a 60-mile radius of Sistersville. Today, only two remain - Jabo Vitro Marble Factory located 25 miles south of Sistersville in Lower Newport and Marble King located four miles north of Sistersville in Paden City. Most of the marbles enjoyed by children were made in this area.
At the festival, beautiful marbles will be made live and a large marble furnace will be placed on Charles Street, allowing world famous contemporary marble artists to display their talents. A silent auction will take place on Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m.
Visitors may also inquire about limited edition 2011 Marble Festival marbles. This year's collectible marble will feature a photograph of Dave McCullough from Jabo Marble, Inc. "The festival is saluting Dave for his contribution to marble making," commented Jim King, who coordinates the annual festival. "Dave and Jabo have been supporters of the Marble Festival since its inception."
Each year, Jabo has provided free marbles for children attending the festival.
"The Jabo classic swirl marbles have become very collectible among young marble enthusiasts," Kind said. "Dave is considered the master of the Jabo Classic Marbles."
In conjunction with Marble Festival, the Gold Derrick Gallery will present "Shoot Your Marbles", a photography exhibition open to all amateur and professional photographers.
Special prizes will be awarded for 1st place, Amateur: Most creative use of subject; 1st place, Professional: Most creative use of subject; Best of Show - Best Theme.
Winning photographs may be included in promotional advertisements for the Gold Derrick Gallery and may be given gallery space to showcase the photographer's art.
The Gold Derrick Gallery is located at 723 Wells St. in the Gaslight Theater. Gallery hours are Sept. 22-24 from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Admission is free.
A reception for the artists will be held on Sunday from noon until 4 p.m.
Additionally, The Gaslight Theater will present "Lost Marbles," a one act comedy-who-done-it about the world's most expensive marble, a weathy widow and her 'heirs' at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24. Tickets are $5 available at the door the evening of the performance.
Musical entertainment has been planned for the weekend, as well. On Friday at 6:30 p.m., the Slim Chance Band will perform. Loveshine, from the Sistersville United Methodist Church, will take the stage Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Jazz Guitarist Ira Heyward will perform periodically throughout the weekend.
Charles and Kim Winslow will host a "Marble Madness" buffet at the Wells Inn early Saturday morning.
Admission to the festival is free.
For more information, contact King at 304-652-4030.