POINT PLEASANT — The evenings are starting to get a chill in them and the annual celebration of the Mothman is just around the corner.
The 18th annual Mothman Festival which takes place on Main Street in Point Pleasant is set for Saturday, Sept. 21 and Sunday, Sept. 22, with a kick start to the event happening on Friday evening, Sept. 20 at the Point Pleasant Historic State Theater.
The Mothman Festival, held the each year during the third weekend in September, increases in the numbers of guests steadily every year.
“Every year’s Mothman Festival brings new challenges,” said festival founder Jeff Wamsley. “We have a great team with the city crew and year after year they help us pull off a successful festival. We always estimate 10-12 thousands of festival attendees between the two days and see an increase each year.”
This year, the event will have some new guest speakers and bands as well as youtube celebrities in attendance. Also, street entertainers will be featured along with the bands who perform on the Riverfront Park stage. On Saturday, festival goers will also have a chance to participate in a costume contest which will be take place from noon- 2 p.m. at the Riverfront Park stage, registration for the event will be held from 11-11:45 a.m.
This festival originally began as a way to attract people to Main Street in a unique way, commemorating the West Virginia Mothman sightings that happened in 1966 around Point Pleasant. When this all began the event organizers never dreamed it would grow as large as it has. Recently, because of the increase of folks coming to the city on Friday before the festival, a kick start event was added to the agenda and is returning this year.
Beginning at 7 p.m., on Friday evening, at the historic state theater, two features, Terror in the Skies and MOMO: The Missouri Monster, from the Small Town Monsters will be shown with free admission.
The day begins early on Saturday with the Mothman 5K at 8 a.m. Registration will begin at 7 a.m. at the Mothman Museum located at 400 Main Street and line up is between 8th and 9th streets on Main Street.
For festival goers wanting to explore, the TNT area guided bus tours will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, lasting until 10 p.m.. Each tour lasts approximately 60-75 minutes at $20 per person. The tour bus will leave from the Mason County Courthouse and those on the tour are advised to arrive 15 minutes early. The TNT bus tours are also offered on Sunday beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. On Saturday evening, festival goers can take a Mothman Hayride starting at the West Virginia State Farm Museum. The hayrides begin around 7 p.m. and end around 11 p.m., tickets cost $5, cash only. The tickets will go on sale Saturday morning of the festival and are sold on a first come, first serve basis.
Also, throughout the day festival goers will see people dressed up in their favorite costumes. All are welcome to participate in the cosplay fun. The cosplay groups Star Wars – The 501st Legion and The Ghostbusters – W.Va. and Ohio Chapters will be in attendance.
The fun does not end there, festival goers will be able to enjoy live entertainment, guest speakers, and a wide array of Mothman/paranormal themed vendors such as artists, authors, merchants, hobbyists, handcrafted artists/boutique owners, food trucks, food carts, food booths, lemonade stands, ice cream trucks, etc. will be set up along Main Street on both Saturday and Sunday of the event.
Optional paid parking for the festival, handled by the City of Point Pleasant, on Saturday will be at Krodel Park for $5 with a shuttle service available for tips. Due to bridge construction near Mcdonalds, the pick up and drop off locations for shuttles will be near the old Point Pleasant River Museum and Learning Center building commented Wamsley. On Sunday, parking is free at Krodel Park. Along the street parking near the festival is an option, but spots will fill quickly.
All of the events for the festival are subject to change, to keep up with these updates on the festival, a free Mothman app is available for download at the App Store or Google Apps. Also, for more information on the Mothman Festival, visit https://www.mothmanfestival.com.
Erin (Perkins) Johnson is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.