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Marble Festival slated for weekend

By Staff | Sep 22, 2010

Limited edition marbles will feature the Sistersville Post Office and are available for purchase during the festival. Additonally, Marble Festival mugs will be sold to benefit the senior citizens.

Once a year, Sistersville plays host to a three-day extravaganza dedicated to the history of glass toys.

The 11th annual Sistersville Marble Festival will be held in Sistersville Sept. 24-26

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, take a cruise down the river and play Bingo courtesy of the Lions Club.

Food 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.

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.

Beautiful 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.

Musical entertainment will incude performances by Slim Chance at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. Michael Parsons and Friends will perform Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Visitors may also inquire about limited edition 2010 Marble Festival marbles. This year’s marble will feature the Sistersville Post Office.

This year, mugs were donated to the festival. In turn, the coordinators of the Marble Festival donated the mugs to the senior citizens to be sold during the festival. Proceeds will benefit the senior center.

Additional activities include safety demonstrations courtesy of the Tyler County Office of Emergency Management in celebration of “National Preparedness Month.” Family Safety Day will be held on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Several activities are planned to take place on north Wells Street in Sistersville.

Community Emergency Response Team volunteers will be on hand to assist families in establishing a ‘Family Emergency Plan’. This plan will help families have the information to know what to do in the event a disaster. It will contain information that will help residents reunite their family in a disaster when family members are in different locations. There will also be information that will help when dealing with pets in a disaster.

The family plan has a place for all personal family information.This information can be entered at the event or the team can start a plan. Participants will be advised on how and where to store this plan once it has been completed. Absolutely none of this information will be retained by Emergency Management.

Each family who fills out a ‘Family Emergency Plan’ will be entered into a drawing to win a $200 Family Emergency Kit donated by the Wetzel-Tyler Health Department. A drawing will be held at the end of the day for the kit.

The Wetzel-Tyler Health Department will be exercising the basics of a Volunteer Reception Center. When disasters occur, people want to help and responding agencies need their help. In order to best utilize volunteers, information on the volunteers must be gathered (such as any skills or experiences they have that would suit a particular need and their contact information). For this exercise participants will be asked to fill out a mock data sheet. From the information gathered on this sheet, the potential volunteer can then be assigned to a response area where their skills can be used. The information gathered from this exercise will help officials in their plans for a “real” Volunteer Reception Center that can be activated in future disasters. Participants will be “acting” as volunteers and will not be required to enter their real names.

Tyler County Search and Rescue will have a Search and Rescue K-9 unit on hand for the public to view, as well as the Emergency Management Communication Van and the Mobile Field Office.

The Tyler County Sheriff’s Office will be handing out 250 ‘Child DNA Sample Kits’. These kits will offer parents a permanent record of their child’s blueprints. DNA does not change from year to year like other, less reliable types of identification, such as footprints and fingerprints, photos and other physical descriptions, which change constantly in children under the age of seven. DNA analysis is capable of identifying one person’s DNA out of billions. The kits will be given to parents to administer and the parents will keep the information on their children.

The Sistersville Police Department will be conducting a Bicycle Rodeo. Bicycle helmets will be given to the first 150 kids who come to participate in the rodeo. Bicycle safety will be taught and there will be a safety cycling course for the kids to ride. Kids, don’t forget yo bring a bicycle.

The Sistersville Volunteer Fire Department will demonstrate the “DuPont Seat Belt Convincer”. This is an accident simulator that allows a person to actually feel the impact of a crash with or with out a seat belt.

Family Safety Day has been partially funded by “Volunteer West Virginia”.

The OEM hopes that everyone will come out and take part in Family Safety Day. Contact Tom Cooper for more information, cal 304-758-5155 or email tjcooper@frontier.com.

Admission to the Sistersville Marble Festival is free.

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 Jim King at 304-652-4030.