Sternwheel Festival kicks off Friday

Photo by Michael Kelly Harold Miller and Fred Sutton stop on the Marietta levee to photograph a sternwheel boat. The two grew up in Marietta and are regulars at the festival.

MARIETTA — The 2018 Ohio River Sternwheel Festival will run Friday through Sunday at the Ohio River Levee in downtown Marietta.

In addition to this year’s headliners, several local acts will be featured including Steve and Bev Pottmeyer, Marietta High School Band and Choir, and others.

Rising country start Cash Campbell will perform at 8 p.m. Friday on the Sternwheel Festival stage.

Campbell has burst onto the music scene with his debut song “Cannonball.” After growing up singing in small-town Texas choir and spearheading several different rock-focused bands over the years, Campbell’s Lone Star roots continued to run deep and he channeled all of his influences into his songwriting.

Out of the gate, CMT selected Campbell for their Artist Discovery initiative and world premiered the video for “Cannonball” in September. His Southern heart and worldly mind are fully evident in new track “Don’t Wanna Think About It.”

Chris Lane will close out the first night of the festival at 9:30 p.m. Friday.

Lane has toured with Dustin Lynch, Kelsea Ballerini and Rascal Flatts. His first single, “Fix,” topped the Country radio charts, has been certified GOLD in both the U.S. and Canada, and reached over 34 million streams on Spotify and over 9 million views on Vevo. He has released his first album, “Girl Problems,” with the next single “For Her.”

Phil Dirt and the Dozers will close out the festival, performing from 2:30-4 p.m. Sunday.

For years, Phil Dirt and the Dozers have been praised, honored and downright loved by people everywhere. From their rise in Columbus, Ohio, The Dozers have kept their eyes keenly focused on musical perfection, quality, and entertaining their audiences. Standing ovations, encores, fun, laughter, and repeat performances are the “norm” for the Dozers. Their seasoned wit, extraordinary talent, music excellence, and artful versatility have granted them a place among rock n’ roll legends.

The Harry J. Robinson Fireworks Display will be presented from 9:30-10 p.m. Saturday in the sky over the Ohio River at Marietta as the fireworks are fired from the water. As it has in the past, the aerial display will be synchronized with choreographed music which can be heard on WNUS 107.1 FM.

The theme for this year’s musical accompaniment will be “College Football Fight Songs” and “The Foo Fighters” The fireworks display will be choreographed to music from that theme and other musical offerings included in the program. The college fight songs featured will be Marietta College, Ohio University, West Virginia University and Ohio State University. There will also be songs from contemporary rock band The Foo Fighters which is known for hits like “Learn to Fly” and “The Best of You.”

Due to the fireworks, the Williamstown Bridge will be closed to pedestrian traffic from 9-10 p.m. Saturday. The Ohio River will also be closed to river traffic during the fireworks display. The barges used for the fireworks display are provided by Marietta Industrial Enterprises.

This year’s Captain James E. Sands Memorial Sternwheel Races will run from 1-2 p.m. Sunday.

On Sunday morning before the races, all of the captains who will be participating meet together to work out who will be racing in each of the six heats. The captains are familiar with the capabilities of their own boats and match up by speed and size in six different groups.

The course starts in the area of the Ohio River near the head of Marietta Island, upriver from the levee. The race runs for a mile-and-a-half downriver to the finish line at the downriver end of the entertainment barge where it is moored to the levee.

The schedule includes:


∫ 6 p.m.: Opening Ceremonies

∫ 7 p.m.: Steve and Beverly Pottmeyer

∫ 7:30 p.m.: Little Miss and Mr. Sternwheel Pageant (Lafayette Hotel Ballroom)

∫ 8 p.m.: Cash Campbell

∫ 9:30 p.m.: Chris Lane


∫ Noon: Marietta High School Wall of Sound

∫ 1 p.m.: Marietta High School Choir – Vocal Point

∫ 1-4 p.m.: Children’s Activities at Gazebo on Ohio Street, near the Williamstown Bridge

∫ 2 p.m.: Two Buds and a Slap Box

∫ 3 p.m.: Anthony Mossburg

∫ 4 p.m.: The Settlement Band

∫ 5 p.m.: Tasha Spencer

∫ 6 p.m.: Titus Canbe

∫ 7 p.m.: Coronation of Queen Genevieve

∫ 7:30 p.m.: Anthony Mossburg

∫ 8 p.m.: Titus Canbe

∫ 9 p.m.: Larger Than Life: The Ultimate Boy Band Tribute

∫ 9:30 p.m.: Harry J. Robinson Memorial Fireworks

∫ 10 p.m.: Larger Than Life: The Ultimate Boy Band Tribute


∫ 8 a.m.: Sunrise Service

∫ 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Car Show on Second Street

∫ 10 a.m.: Alfie and Omegas

∫ 11 a.m.: Jake Binegar

∫ Noon: Phase 2

∫ 1 p.m.: Captain James E. Sands Memorial Races

∫ 2 p.m.: Phase 2

∫ 2:30 p.m.: Phil Dirt and The Dozers