Parkersburg Homecoming organizers announce acts, schedule

PARKERSBURG – The entertainment lineup was announced Thursday for the 2013 Parkersburg Homecoming Festival in August.

Shows by country singer Jason Michael Carroll on Friday and the classic rock group The Devonshires on Saturday will precede the rock-and-roll legend America on Sunday night at the main Suddenlink stage.

“We’re going to have a very good show this year,” said Chuck Lipps of Rick Modesitt and Associates and a homecoming entertainment organizer.

A press conference was held Thursday morning at the Judge Black Annex to announce the schedule. America, whose hits include “Sister Golden Hair,” “Tin Man,” “Ventura Highway” and “A Horse with No Name,” was announced earlier this year.

The annual homecoming is held the third weekend of August, this year on Aug. 16-18. Entertainment has been a major draw for the festival along with the Saturday night fireworks show by the world-renown Zambelli Fireworks Internationale.

And entertainment remains a big draw for the festival, said Randall Roberts, the former homecoming president who was succeeded earlier this year by Cyndie Wade. Roberts said he has already received calls from around the country about the bands performing this year.

“I think this is going to be a very good line up for the entertainment,” Roberts said.

Mike Cameron, program director and afternoon air personality for Z106 radio, agrees. He attributes the success to Lipps.

“Year after year, Chuck just knocks it out of the ballpark,” Cameron said.

Cameron believes America will be another huge concert draw. Classic rock bands have dominated the Sunday concerts for the last five years and Cameron points to 38 Special and Kansas.

“Each year they fill the square,” he said.

Suddenlink Communications is the major sponsor of the entertainment, which performs on the main Suddenlink Stage.

“We’re very happy to be a major sponsor of the Parkersburg Homecoming for the fifth year,” said Michael Kelemen, director of government relations for the cable company.

Wade also was appreciative of the Suddenlink sponsorship. It has enabled the Homecoming to book quality acts, she said.

“It’s been a good partnership,” Wade said.

More sponsors are needed to further expand the entertainment line up, Wade said. The aim is to attract larger crowds, she said.

“Our crowds are growing larger every year,” Wade said.

Among Carroll’s hit songs were “Alyssa Lies,” “Livin’ Our Love Song” and “I Can Sleep When I’m Dead.” He is the son of a preacher from North Carolina.

After winning a karaoke contest, Carroll was asked to join a local country and performed in clubs. His mother got him on a talent show in Raleigh, N.C., which he won and led to other opportunities.

Carroll signed with Arista Nashville where his first album, “Waitin’ in the Country,” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart.

The Devonshires has performed for decades at Walt Disney World, Six Flags, General Electric, Freemont Street, Harrahs Casino, Honda of America, NASCAR, Clear Channel Communications, Blackrock Financial, the American Red Cross, Texas Roadhouse, the Hard Rock Cafe, the United States Navy and the World Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa.

It has performed with numerous rock legends including Joe Cocker, Jefferson Airplane, the Doobie Brothers, Eddie Money, the Edgar Winter Group, Badfinger, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, Cheap Trick, Paul Revere and the Raiders and The Temptations.