Meigs gears up for July 4 weekend

Meigs High School Marching Band preforming in the 2014 Middleport parade.

Spectators anxiously await the entrace of the grand marshall.

OHIO VALLEY — There won’t be any shortage of activities this weekend associated with the Fourth of July holiday as festivals, parades, music and fireworks displays are planned at many venues throughout the region and on both sides of the Ohio River.

Meigs County features a plethora of parades and fireworks displays, while Point Pleasant’s Sternwheel Regatta and Gallipolis’ 50th annual River Recreation Festival is each set to entertain thousands of visitors, respectively.

The following are activities, times and locations of events planned for this weekend throughout the Ohio Valley:

Meigs County

A parade, Bar-B-Q and fireworks are all part of the Racine Fourth of July celebration on Saturday. Parade participants are asked to line up for the parade at 9:30 a.m. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. through the main streets. A chicken barbecue and home-made ice cream will follow the parade at 11 a.m. at the fire house. Fireworks are scheduled for 10 p.m. at Star Mill Park.

Middleport’s Fourth of July celebration will be Saturday afternoon. Local DJ Kip Grueser will play music from 4-7:45 p.m. There will be a children’s singing contest from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Anyone participating in the parade should line up next to Dairy Queen by 5:30 p.m. Part of this parade includes the “Pulled, Pushed, Pedaled and Pets.” Participants are encouraged to decorate their bikes, trikes, Big Wheels, wagons and other parade transportation, including riding mowers, scooters, tractors, motorized chairs and golf carts.

The parade itself will start at 6 p.m. and will go down Second Street, Third Street to the Corner Restaurant, back up Second Street to Dave Diles Park, and disband on Front Street above the park. The Color Guard will be American Legion Feeney Bennett Post 128, and the grand marshal will be Charlene Hoeflich, who is a retired reporter and former editor of the The Daily Sentinel.

A flag-raising ceremony will immediately follow the parade at Dave Diles Park. The raising will be lead by American Legion Feeney Bennett Post 128, with the National Anthem sung by the River City Players Chorus. A short program will be presented by the chorus following the National Anthem. From 7:45-9:45 p.m. guests can go back in time by listening to the band “Remember Then” and “Oldies But Goodies.” Lastly, the evening will end with fireworks shooting from the riverbank at the upper end of Middleport at 10 p.m.

Rutland’s Fourth of July Celebration begins with the parade line up at 9 a.m. Saturday in the lower part of town. There is no need to register. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. Activities during the day include: Bingo at noon; clogging from 1-2:30 p.m.; the band 65 South from 7-11 p.m.; fireworks at 11 p.m. There will be lots of food, games, a dunking machine and a bounce house. The Rutland Fire Department will have a variety of food and beverages. Vendors, except those selling food or drink, are welcome for a set-up fee of $25.

Wilkesville will have its annual Fourth of July parade at 11 a.m. Saturday. The theme of the parade is “Stars and Stripes Forever.” Prizes will be awarded for the following entrees: $75 for best church float, old car and most unique entry; $100 top prize for the “best looking horse and rider”; $50 top prize for the best children’s entry (ages 1-10); $25 for the most patriotic dog (on a leash). Registration for children will be across from the restaurant; all others register on the hill next to the recycling building.

Mason County

The Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta takes place Saturday with the following events planned: Vietnam Veterans Mobile Wall is on display all day at Riverfront Park; 22nd Street Exxon 5K, 10K and Kids Fun Run at 8 a.m.; parade starts at 11 a.m., line-up at the Mason County Board of Education Office; car show following parade at USDA parking lot; Kid’s Day starts at noon at Tu-Endie-Wei Park; West Virginia Vietnam Memorial Wall Ceremony at 1 p.m. at Riverfront Park; Line Throw at 2 p.m. at Tu-Endie-Wei; Zumba class at 3 p.m. at Tu-Endie-Wei; WBYG Showdown at 6 p.m. on main stage; Joey Hyde at 8:30 p.m. at main stage; fireworks at 10 p.m. at Tu-Endie-Wei.

New Haven will kick off festivities Saturday with a parade beginning at 11 a.m. Line-up will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the community center on Layne Street. The parade will proceed to the fire station. Following the parade, a ceremony will be at the veterans memorial next to the fire station. According to Smith-Capehart American Legion Post 140 Commander David Sigman, an American flag in a presentation box will be presented to one combat veteran from World War II.

The Town of Mason’s Fourth of July Parade begins at noon, with line-up starting at 11:30 a.m. on Martin Street. The parade will travel up Second Street, turn left onto Pomeroy Street, and proceed to Stewart-Johnson V.F.W./Lottie Jenks Memorial Park. Walkers are welcome to wait and join in at the fire station, if they so choose. Activities at the park will continue throughout the afternoon. A bounce house, slide and bungee jump will be set up, and there will be children’s games, including a water balloon toss, watermelon-eating contest and basketball shoot. Cash prizes will be awarded. There will also be a cornhole tournament, music and karaoke by Kip Grueser, and a fire truck and police car for children to view. Refreshments will be available for purchase, including chicken barbecue by the Wahama Band Boosters, hot dogs by the Mason Recreation Foundation, and other goodies by the Mason United Methodist Church.

Following the Mason festivities, the celebration will then move to Middleport, according to Mason Mayor Donna Dennis. In addition to the $6,000 Middleport annually spends on fireworks, the Town of Mason contributed an extra $1,500 this year for a display that promises to be spectacular. Prior to the 10 p.m. fireworks show, there will be kids’ games from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Dave Diles Park. A parade will begin at the Dairy Queen at 6 p.m., and “Remember Then” will be playing oldies music from 7:45-9:45 p.m.

Gallia County

The 50th annual Gallipolis River Recreation Festival officially opens Thursday night and continues through Saturday, concluding with a fireworks display at 10 p.m. The three-day event includes contests, pageants, entertainment, artisan booths, exhibitors, food and other vendors, and Kids Night, with multiple activities and prizes.

It all begins Thursday with the the Lil’ Miss and Mister Firecracker Pageant at 5:45 p.m., Queen’s Parade at 7 p.m. and Queen’s Pageant at 8:30 p.m. Friday kicks off with Gospel Day from noon to 6 p.m. Kids Night, with games and prize giveaways, will also take place that evening from 3-9 p.m.

Taking the stage for Gospel Day will be Bailey Manns and Taylor Manns at 6:30 p.m. and Joey Hebdo at 7:30 p.m. An Open Mic Night will finish out the evening, starting at 9 p.m., following Hebdo’s performance.

On Saturday, the day starts with the popular Baby Tot Sparkler Contest, with registration beginning at 8 a.m. and the contest at 9 a.m. The annual Weiner Dog Race takes place at 4 p.m. and String Benders will take the stage at 5 p.m.

The theme for the annual Independence Day Parade is “Honor the Past, Imagine the Future” and takes place at 7 p.m., followed by Joey D. on the stage at 8:30 p.m. Fireworks with music from Sunny 93.1 will close out the festival at 10 p.m.

Beth Sergent in Point Pleasant, and Lindsay Kriz and Lorna Hart in Pomeroy, and Michael Johnson in Gallipolis contributed to this story.