The city of Sistersville will be abuzz this weekend as visitors from across the country come to celebrate the annual Sistersville Marble Festival.
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.
The event celebrates the history of 'marble mania' that swept the country in the early to mid 1900s. One interesting fact is that most of the marbles enjoyed by children were made in this area.
Pictured are this year’s special marbles, which show the Sistersville Library.
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.
Marbles will be made live during the festival 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., with a special one-of-a-kind set of 35 marbles up for bid. Additionally, the special set of six marbles, this year featuring the Sistersville Library, will be on sale for $2 per marble.
Special mugs with the Sistersville Library and other marble related photos will also be sold by a local seniors group. King said the mugs were donated to the festival, and then again donated to the senior center to be used for fundraising for the center.
Admission to the festival is free, with events and vendors open throughout the day.
For more information about free vendor setup for selling marbles, other collectibles or baked items, or to be added to the Marble Festival mailing list, contact King at 304-652-4030.