Belpre Homecoming officials name entertainers

BELPRE – Entertainment for the 81st annual Belpre Homecoming, to be held Aug. 1-3, was announced Thursday during a press conference at the Belpre Area Chamber offices.

Homecoming chairman Kathy Gramkow, chamber executive director Karen Waller and Chuck Lipps of Rick Modesitt and Associates attended the announcement.

“We have all of the planning in place and exciting entertainment lined up for this year,” said Gramkow, who is vice president of the chamber.

The headlining act for Friday at 8:30 p.m. will be country recording artist Joel Crouse, whose debut single “If You Want Some” is number 27 on the country music charts. Crouse has opened for established artists Rodney Adkins, Sara Evans, the Goo Goo Dolls, Toby Keith and Darius Rucker.

He will perform several show with The Band Perry this year and will open for Taylor Swift’s Red Tour this summer.

“There is a lot of excitement around Joel Crouse,” Waller said. “I think we got him at the right time, just before he hits it big.”

Opening for Crouse at 7:30 p.m. will be Nashville singer/songwriter Brent Cobb, who has written songs for Luke Bryan, David Nail, Kellie Pickler and The Eli Young Band.

For the second year, Thursday night will be Youth and Family Night with Point Pleasant, W.Va., native Chase Likens performing at 8:30 p.m. Likens was a top 24 finalist on the 2012 season of American Idol and has opened for Lady Antebellum, Bucky Covington and Adam D. Tucker.

The Saturday entertainment will include local acts Jinxed at 8 p.m. with Titus Canbe at 9:30 p.m.

The chamber, which has always organized the homecoming weekend, has local and national music acts of all genres performing throughout the Thursday through Saturday event.

This year’s homecoming also will feature carnival rides, inflatables and other entertainment.

Saturday’s events will begin with the Belpre Mile Run, which had more participants last year than 2010, which had about 100 runners.

The parade up Washington Boulevard will be expected to draw a crowd with community members along the street for the 10 a.m. start.

There will be a vehicle collecting food for the Belpre Area Ministries food pantry during the parade that will also be available during the homecoming for donations from the public.

Parade participants are asked to donate canned goods and other non-perishable items.

Matinee pricing will follow at Civitan Park for the carnival.

The chamber will hold the first Duck Pluck fundraiser, offering cash prizes to winners whose ducks are “plucked” from the city swimming pool on Saturday.

Tickets will be $5 with the prizes totaling $1,000.

Sponsored exclusively by Belpre Savings Bank, tickets will be available at Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce office and local ticket outlets. Proceeds go to support homecoming events.