WESTON — Love is in the air and The Museum of American Glass in Weston will once again be hosting their 6th Annual Valentine Chocolate Lover’s Feast this Saturday. In keeping with COVID-19 guidelines, organizers decided to celebrate with a modified drive-thru event this year in the parking lot adjacent to the museum on Main Ave. The Chocolate Lover’s Feast will be held in conjunction with Weston’s Second Saturday Street Fair on February 13 from 1 to 3 p.m., regardless of the weather.
In 2015, Chairmen Fay Bell and Sheila Sayre began asking friends, customers, and groups in Weston to donate homemade chocolate to help the Museum of American Glass raise funds for various needs that included buying archival materials and glass, purchasing new cases, and other general necessities. The event originally brought in approximately 100 attendees and has only grown since with a reported 250 attendees in 2020. According to volunteer Carolyn Loar, “We have used the same formula and the chocolate is always homemade and delicious! Our donors use their imagination and come up with a huge variety of goodies!” She said delicacies such as chocolate fluff, chocolate bacon, rich brownies, fudge, cookies, and dipped pretzels are usually among the items available for the area’s participating chocolate connoisseurs. Loar noted that last year, an orange flavored fudge and crème de menthe brownies were some of the feast’s distinguished favorites.
The Museum of American Glass is hoping that the community will support this unique event while waiting for 2022 to return in their “spectacular indoor arena.” The money raised from this event will support the varied endeavors to maintain the museum and their ongoing renovations. Later this spring, the museum hopes to showcase their new custom-built front desk and work area. They are also hopeful to raise enough funding to replace the computer system and the flooring, which is approximately 40 years old, according to Loar. These renovations will be completed in effort to enhance the museum visitors’ experience.
The Museum of American Glass has been open on Main Ave. since 2006, but local volunteers and glass lovers in the area started planning for this impressive museum in the 1990s. The museum is located in the building that used to be home to JC Penney’s.
Glass made from all over the United States is on display, thus the name “Museum of American Glass.” Loar explained, “We celebrate the history of glass and glassmaking which has been a very important part of Lewis and Upshur County and WV state history. One must remember art glass is only one aspect of glass history. There is also window glass, bottles, marbles, insulators from the past, glass eyes, glass canes, and medical items.” She noted that many items historically made from glass have now been replaced by materials like plastic and aluminum.
Due to offering free admission, fundraisers such as the Chocolate Lover’s Feast are very important to the museum. Most of the staff are volunteers, including their entire board. The volunteers must regularly clean the glass on display, as well as the glass cases, and also catalogue glass items, work in the archival section, work in the library stocking shelves and keep up with the gift shop, among many other duties. They recently hosted a raffle and have held Bingo and glass auctions in the past. “Because of COVID, we cannot do any in-house things, which is why we are hoping many folks will come drive thru and receive a delicious Box of Candy for a donation of $10.00,” expressed Loar.
Mark your calendars for this Saturday, February 13 and enjoy some homemade chocolates for a good cause in Weston. A donation of $10 will be collected per box and remember, you don’t even have to leave your car!
However, if you choose to get out, the Museum is open and free to all. “We love having visitors and there are multiple exhibits to enjoy,” Loar exclaimed. Some of the featured exhibits include the Lady Jane Stained Glass Doll House, the Martin Massman Steuben Collection, a case of Carnival glass tumblers, the great pumpkin and friends, Avon products from the past, a Vaseline glass case, a collection of Hens on Nest, a cobalt glass case, among their many other 25,000 items. The Museum is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.