September's First Friday is just around the corner and this month features a new take on the monthly event.
This month is aimed toward welcoming students back to Wheeling, and Downtown Wheeling Inc. is hosting a "Party on the Patio" outside at WesBanco arena. The free concert features bands "K-R-3" and "The Other Tribe;" and at dusk, a "light up the night" celebration will be held at Heritage Port. Students and the public are invited to release paper lanterns.
Bob Heldreth, with Downtown Wheeling Inc., explained the symbolism of the lanterns. "Paper lanterns were originally used by soldiers who were lost on the battlefield. They would send the paper lanterns up, and that way people could see their positions and where they are. Today, the lanterns are symbolic for releasing one's burdens or worries, and they're also symbolic of sending a wish up to heaven."
The lantern release was planned before the death of Wheeling Jesuit student Kevin Figaniak this week, however, the symbolic event could help students cope with the devastating loss.
The concert will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and is in addition to regular First Friday events.