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Marble Fest Event Returns to Sistersville

By Staff | Sep 25, 2019

Attendees of the Sistersville Marble Festival flock to various vendors during the event.

SISTERSVILLE – Downtown streets will be lined with marble displays, food vendors, and other attractions Sept. 27-29 when thousands of visitors attend the 20th annual Sistersville Marble Festival.

The event has been known to draw national and international attention while providing a fun experience for local residents of all ages.

“There are many excellent marble shows held throughout the United States,” said founder and coordinator Jim King. “Most are done in motels with room-to-room trading. I wanted something that was more festive and for the whole family, so that everyone could enjoy it.”

With that idea in mind, King and a group of dedicated individuals launched the first Sistersville Marble Festival in 2000. The festival, for which attendance and vendor setup is free, thrives by giving collectors a way to buy, sell, and trade marbles.

Those new to the festival, as well as those who have attended each year, can look forward to enjoying the friendly atmosphere of downtown Sistersville.

Pictured is one Sistersville street hosting various vendors at a previous Sistersville Marble Festival.

In addition to providing free entertainment to the public, the festival serves as a celebration of the area’s rich history of “marble mania,” seeking to bring that history to present light.

At one time, there were more than 20 marble factories within a 60-mile radius of Sistersville, which was located at the heart of marble country. When playing marbles hit its peak worldwide, a majority of the toy marbles children used for their games had been produced in this area.

Today the town of Sistersville is located between two of the remaining American-based toy marble manufacturers: Marble King in Paden City and Jabo Vitro Marble Factory in Lower Newport, Ohio.

The festival recognizes marble history and heritage and provides a variety of yearly traditions, including handmade marble making demonstrations by world-renowned glass artists, a children’s marble tournament, a marble silent auction, more beautiful marbles than most visitors could imagine, and flea market items.

Local restaurants and food trucks are options for marble enthusiasts and other spectators.

Vendor setup has always been free, allowing a large variety for visitors to explore.

For more information about free vendor setup for selling marbles, other collectibles or baked items, or to be added to the Sistersville Marble Festival mailing list, call King at 304-652-3032, 304-652-4030, or 304-652-3155.