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Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : July 13, 2007


Hoy Murphy , Public Information Officer (304) 558-3381
Donna Smith or Pam Salisbury, Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park (304) 420-4800

Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park to Offer Evening Cruises

Sternwheeler cruises on the Ohio River to Blennerhassett Island for the evening is a new programming venture at Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park this summer. The Island Evening Cruise Series includes “Island Frolic,” “Family Fireworks,” and “Sunday Sundae.”

“Each evening cruise is a little different,” says Donna Smith, superintendent of Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park. “We scheduled these trips to encourage families, friends, or organizations to visit the island at a time that we previously have not been open – evenings. It is a unique and affordable experience.”

Island Frolic is a three-hour sunset tour that includes a sternwheeler ride to and from the island, bicycle rides for children, narrated horse-drawn wagon ride, and a picnic of hotdogs, chips, and drink. This tour is offered July 29 and August 11 and 25.

August 18 is the Family Fireworks cruise, which may be the best seat on the Ohio River to view Parkersburg’s homecoming fireworks display, according to Smith. With a short stop at the island, the majority of this cruise offers a river view of the night sky.

Sunday Sundae includes a sternwheeler tour around the island with a stop for a hand-dipped ice cream sundae. Sunday Sundae is scheduled on September 9 and 23.

“These evening events are more about sunsets on the Ohio River, the sternwheeler boating experience, and an opportunity of being on an actual island,” Smith says. “However, our approximately three-hour tours do return to the mainland in Parkersburg.”

The mansion interior is not open during Island Frolic, Sunday Sundae, or Family Fireworks events. The cost per person varies from $10 to $12.

The new evening cruises generally board at 6:30 p.m. and conclude by 9:30 p.m. Reservations are required. Detailed information is available online and is provided when making reservations. Daytime trips to Blennerhassett Island via a sternwheeler ride are Tuesdays through Sundays from Memorial Day through Labor Day 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The island also is open in September and October with different operating hours.

Also available is the popular Mansion by Candlelight event. For October 12 and 13, sternwheeler rides will transport visitors back to 1805 where the Blennerhassetts are hosting a party on the island. On this autumn evening, electricity is banished when the mansion and island are transformed into the flame-lit world of the 19th century. The soft glow of candlelight will weave a mesmerizing spell around visitors as they listen to music, see dancing, or watch a lively game of cards. This event fee is $20 per person with various departure times starting at 6:30 p.m.

For additional information about Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, reservations for island evening departure times and launch sites, the museum and the mansion/island hours, call (304) 420-4800 or go online


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