Candlelight tours of Blennerhassett Island set for Oct. 13-14

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Blennerhassett by Candlelight Tour
Candles light historic Blennerhassett Island during its annual candle-light tour.

PARKERSBURG, W.Va.—For two nights in October visitors to Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park can experience the candle-lit world of 1805 and attend a period-accurate party during the park’s popular Mansion-by-Candlelight event.

On Oct. 13-14, the event will capture the magic of the island’s historic setting with hundreds of candles lighting the way to the its namesake mansion.

This is the 21st year staff and volunteers from the Friends of Blennerhassett and the Foundation for Blennerhassett State Park have produced the event, which includes a re-enactment of a party the Blennerhassetts, wealthy Irish aristocrats who settled the wilderness island in 1798.

“It’s has been the most popular event we conduct, but attendance is only by advance ticket sales and only occurs two evenings in October every year,” said Pam Salisbury, activities coordinator.

Tickets can be purchased at the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History at 2nd and Juliana streets in Parkersburg, or by calling 304-420-4800. Tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for children 3-12. An optional harvest dinner is $15 per person. Tickets are limited and sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

During the event, attendees will be transported to Blennerhassett Island from Civitan Park in Belpre, Ohio by the “Island Belle” sternwheeler.

A spectacle themselves, hundreds of lanterns on the island direct island-goers from the sternwheeler landing to the candlelit mansion and to the servant’s party, harvest supper, gift shop and other activities with costumed re-enactors. There also will be live music, dancing and a lively game of cards, strolling minstrels and more.

Island cooks will serve a picnic-style harvest supper of pulled pork, potatoes, corn, baked beans, wedge salad, fresh baked bread, dessert and a beverage at the island shelter. The concession stand will also be open each evening and offers a variety of foods and drinks.

Tickets to the event include a ride on the sternwheeler to and from the island, access to the Blennerhassett Mansion, a horse-drawn wagon ride around the upper half of the island and a seat at a bonfire where another spirited party is going on. At the servants’ party, there is music, dancing and storytelling. A youth group will stir apples over an open fire to make homemade apple butter, which can be purchased.

Learn more about the tour, visit Blennerhassettislandstatepark.com.