POINT PLEASANT — Ten years ago an eccentric tribute to one of Mason County’s most eccentric “residents” began and has now grown into one, if not, the largest tourist attraction in Point Pleasant, responsible for bringing people to the area from all over the world — the Mothman Festival.
This year’s festival is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15-16 in downtown Point Pleasant. However, the festival fun gets started a little earlier in the week with the Miss Mothman Pageant. Those in the Tiny, Little, and Junior categories will compete at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Trinity United Methodist Church Auditorium. Contestants in the Teen, Miss, Ms., and Mrs. categories will compete at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14, at the Riverfront Park.
This year’s 10th anniversary of the Mothman Festival includes some special treats like the reopening of the historic State Theater on Main Street for a showing of the documentary “Eyes of Mothman” at 6 p.m. and the film “The Mothman Prophecies” at 7 p.m., both on Saturday, Sept. 15. Admission to both films is free.
The State Theatre will also host the following special speakers on a variety of topics: Saturday, Sept. 15, 11 a.m., Chad Lambert, Mothman comic creator; noon, Jeff Waldridge, government conspiracies; 1 p.m., Stan Gordan, UFO’s and Bigfoot in Pennsylvania; 2 p.m., Rosemary Guilley, monsters of West Virginia; 3 p.m., Susan Sheppard, Newell Partridge and Indrid Cold; 4 p.m.,Tom Ury, Gray Barker and Silver Bridge Book. Sunday, Sept 16, noon, Joey Madia, Mothman playwright preview; 1 p.m., Fritz Zimmerman, Point Pleasant Burial Mounds; 2 p.m., Robin Bellamy, the Haunted Lowe Hotel; 3 p.m., Sharon Shull, niece of reporter Mary Hyre. Admission into the State Theater to hear these speakers is also free.
This year’s festival will also have a variety of musical entertainment which takes places in the Riverfront Park Amphitheater, including: Saturday, Sept. 15, 2 p.m., Bunkhammer (classic rock); 4 p.m., Two River Junction (country rock); 6 p.m., 40 Pound Snapper (blues and rock); 8 p.m., Blues Z Band (blues and rock). Sunday, Sept. 16, 2 p.m., Jesse Crawford Band (classic rock); 4 p.m., the Dub V’s (rock). All concerts are free.
The popular “Mothman Band” will also make an appearance but at the West Virginia State Farm Museum, appearing at 8 p.m. on Saturday on the farm museum’s stage.
The farm museum will once again serve a vital role in the festival, hosting the TNT area hayrides which start at 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 15. Tickets for the rides go on sale at 10 a.m., Saturday at the info booth. The price is $5 for adults, $3 for children 10 and under.
There’s also a karaoke contest at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 15 at the Riverfront Park with finalists returning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16 to perform. There’s a $10 entry fee and cash prizes awarded.
Other highlights of the festival: Mothman Bus Tours which includes a 75-minute tour of landmarks and the TNT area, tickets will be available at mothmanlives.com booth. Get Mothman pancakes on Saturday only. See the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine. Star Wars reenactors at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15. Downtown tram rides are $2. Lowe Hotel Haunted Tours will take place at the hotel with info at the front door. Mothman 5K begins Saturday morning. Face paintings by Jody Rife. Visit Harris Steak House (AKA “Mothman Diner”). Check out the Mothman Statue where Mothman witnesses will be speaking from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15. Run and hide from the Men in Black. See Grumpy Peedler’s Antique Bicycle exhibit. Live Mothman painting session at 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 15.
The Mothman Museum will be open from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 15 and 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 16 with admission $3 for adults, $1 for kids 11 and under. Also, the Point Pleasant River Museum will be open for tours. Merchandise and food vendors will be set up downtown.
For more information on the festival, visit www.mothmanfestival.com or go to the festival’s Facebook page and Twitter account for updates. Admission to the festival is free.