The Renaissance Weirton Corp. is seeking volunteers to help launch a new fall event in the City of Weirton: the Gate 5 Industrial Art Festival. Celebrating the skills and materials that were crafted during the peak of manufacturing in Northern West Virginia, Gate 5 will celebrate art created using metal, clay, glass and repurposed scrap.
The festival was named by Mayor Harold Miller in honor of the No. 5 Gate on Main Street, which was the entrance into Weirton Steel’s Strip Steel shop. “Materials came in the Strip Steel operation behind the No. 5 Gate were transformed into cold rolled, hot rolled and rolled coils for galvanized steel,” Miller said. “Employees entered through Gate 5 and learned valuable skills that many of them still use today, but in new and interesting ways. A festival that honors the materials and skills used in manufacturing is a way to honor our history and our families’ heritage.”
Artists who bend, cut, weld and fuse their work together – especially those that use metal, ceramic, glass or scrap, will be invited to show and sell their work at the Gate 5 Industrial Art Festival.
Volunteers are needed to help create this festival from scratch, so everyone is welcome. The date of the inaugural festival will be Saturday, Oct. 20. The first volunteer meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, in Room 201 of the Weirton Municipal Complex. Anyone interested in learning more about this event is welcome.
“We hope to see a mix of our faithful volunteers and new faces as we put the Gate 5 festival together,” Mayor Miller said. “We really believe that this is going to be something special for our city and we want members of the community to create it together.”
Alecia Ford, Renaissance Weirton Corp. Board member and Event Chair, said the plan is for the event to have a number of different – and unique – features. “The basic structure of the festival will be a daylong event of industrial art vendors and, we hope, some metal-work and pottery demonstrations,” said Alecia Ford, Renaissance Weirton Corp. member. “We also plan to invite food trucks from throughout the region, hold a steampunk fashion show, and possibly even tackle a downtown improvement project.”
The event will wrap up with a truly metal event – a performance by the KISS tribute band, “Stutter,” backed by a fireworks finale. “