This year marks the sixth annual festival, and organizers are busy planning a weekend jam-packed with activities that both the young and old can enjoy.
This year's festival will feature most of the traditional events, such as haunted hayrides and guest speakers on a variety of different Mothman or paranormal-related topics. The Mothman Band will be making its sixth consecutive appearance at the festival, with performances Saturday and Sunday near the Mothman statue at 1 p.m.
New activities this year include a costume contest that will feature four age groups and award prizes to winners. The contest is set to start Saturday at 2 p.m.
According to Jeff Wamsley, one of the Mothman Festival organizers, the event will get under way Saturday at 10 a.m. with a welcome from Mayor Marilyn McDaniel and festival staff at the Mothman statue.
A variety of guest speakers are on schedule for the weekend, including Rosemary Guiley, author; Robin Peyatt Bellamy, author and Mothman witness; Chad Lambert, Mothman comic writer; Andy Colvin, writer and photographer; Susan Sheppard, writer and ghost hunter; Prodigy Group, paranormal investigators; Travis Shortt, filmmaker and investigator; Ryan Buell, investigator for the new A&E paranormal television series; and James A. Willis, founder and director of “The Ghosts of Ohio.” Dan Cutler, a Chief Cornstalk re-enactor, also is scheduled to appear.
The guest speakers will be answering questions as well as discussing their topics in an open format at the Point Pleasant Riverfront Park Amphitheater following their lectures.
Also on hand will be Jeff Gaither, legendary rock illustrator who has worked with major label recording acts such as The Misfits, Guns-N-Roses, Biohazard, Insane Clown Posse, The Accused and many others. Gaither will meet with festival-goers and will have special limited edition prints available commemorating this year's festival.
The staff of Ghostly Talk Radio are the official emcees of this year's festival and will host the guest speaker event.
Local mystery author Carlene Thompson will be doing a book signing at 1 p.m. Saturday. In addition to her current mystery reads, she has a book coming out in April that will feature the Mothman.
The Mothman Tram and Shuttle will run 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday to drop off and pick up festival-goers at the Point Pleasant River Museum and Silver Bridge Memorial. The shuttle returns to Gunn Park on a continuous loop.
The Mothman Museum also will have special hours during the festival. The museum will be open 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Mothman TNT tours at the West Virginia State Farm Museum in the TNT area are scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday evening; tickets for this event will be on sale throughout the day Saturday.
The State Theater will host an all-day Battle of the Bands Saturday, as well as a special “Rocky Horror Picture Show” viewing later that evening. The theater also will show Mothman UFO and paranormal clips and presentations starting at noon Sunday.
There is also a chance to meet Mothman witnesses and authors Saturday from 1-3 p.m. at the special guest table under the tent. Guest eyewitnesses tentatively scheduled include Linda Scarberry, the first eyewitness on Nov. 15, 1966; Tom Ury, who was chased in his vehicle by a giant bird; and Faye Dewitt, eyewitness at the TNT area in 1966. Dottie Campbell, close friend of MIB writer, Mary Hyre, also is scheduled to appear with the eyewitnesses.
A Haunted House/Mothman's Lair will be open 2 p.m.-midnight Saturday and at 1 p.m. Sunday. This is sponsored by the Point Pleasant High School girl's softball team, and all proceeds will benefit the team's trip fund.
Other festival events include a Mothman weight and power lifting contest at the steps of the post office, a classic car show and DJ Scott's Karaoke, which is taking place on both days of the festival.
Mothman Festival information tables will be set up directly in front of the Mothman statue. Festival-goers are encouraged to stop there for more information concerning the TNT hayride tickets. Free maps of downtown Point Pleasant also can be picked up at this location.
Mothman vendor tables will be located near the Mothman statue throughout the weekend.