Fireworks, Bucky Covington returning to Belpre Homecoming

BELPRE — To mark the 85th year of the Belpre Homecoming Festival, organizers are bringing back a couple of popular acts and activities from the past.

On Tuesday, the Belpre Homecoming Committee announced the entertainment and event lineup for the 2017 event, which runs from Aug. 3-5 at Civitan Park in Belpre. This year’s Homecoming will feature the return of a popular singer and will also feature the first time Belpre will present fireworks at Homecoming in several years.

Chuck Lipps, the entertainment coordinator for this year’s event, said returning this year is opening night headliner Bucky Covington, who will perform Aug. 3.

While Covington has become a frequent performer at area festivals and fairs, this will mark only his second appearance at the Belpre Homecoming and marks 10 years since his first appearance in Belpre, Lipps said.

At that time, Covington was just becoming known following his appearance on American Idol. Lipps said it was one of the biggest crowds he can recall for any performer at Belpre’s Homecoming.

Taking the stage Aug. 4, for Tribute Night is Eliminator KC, a ZZ Top tribute band.

For over a decade, the three performers based out of Kansas City have taken their show coast-to-coast, performing at major venues and events across the country. Eliminator KC will perform over 20 charted hits that have helped shape the face of American music and culture.

The final performance of Homecoming will feature regional favorites Rick K and the Allnighers on Aug. 5 as part of “Community Night” on Saturday, followed by the return of the Homecoming Fireworks show at 10 p.m. to close out this year’s festival. The Diamond sponsor for this year’s fireworks is Belpre Savings Bank.

Co-coordinator Teresa Turner said Belpre Homecoming will also feature other traditional celebrations, attractions, food/crafter and commercial vendors and more. Belpre Chamber of Commerce, The Belpre Homecoming Committee and Belpre Lions Club will sponsor the 85th Homecoming parade at 10 a.m. Aug. 5.

“It’s pretty amazing that something’s been going on since 1932 that’s always been a free event as far as entertainment for the community and to be part of the community like that,” Turner said of Belpre Homecoming reaching its 85th year.

On the grounds of Civitan Park, crafters and home-based businesses will showcase their products at the Homecoming Craft Show. Applications for a booth can be picked up at Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce, 713 Park Drive, Belpre; by visiting the website at belprechamber.com or by calling 740-423-8934.

Non-profit, food, non-food and commercial vendors are welcome to set up booths or trailers throughout the event for the enjoyment of Homecoming visitors. Call the Chamber office for applications and pricing, visit the website, or stop in at the office, she said.

The Belpre Homecoming Pageant program seeks to find children and youth to represent Belpre at civic functions and local events. Contests include Little Mister and Little Miss ages 5-8 on Aug. 3, Junior Miss ages 9-12 on Aug. 4, Miss Teen Belpre ages 13-16 on Aug. 4, and Miss Belpre ages 17-20 on Aug. 5. Contact the BACC office, the website or call 740-423-8934 for more details.

On the weekend before the festival, the 2017 Belpre Homecoming Pretty Baby and Toddler Contest will be July 29 at Rockland United Methodist Church. Baby Miss and Mister will be 10 a.m. for 0-11 months, 11 a.m. for Tiny Miss and Mister 1-2 years old, and noon for Toddler Miss and Mister ages 3-4 years old.

Amusement rides are open throughout the entire event.

This year’s festival will also feature the BACC’s sixth “Duck Pluck” Fundraiser, which offers cash prizes to lucky winners whose ducks are “plucked” from all entries on Aug. 5, at the main stage. A $5 ticket gives purchasers a chance to win cash prizes totaling $1,000. Five tickets can be purchased for $20. Tickets will be available on the Homecoming grounds, at the BACC office, from participating civic and school groups and any Homecoming committee member.

Other events planned during the weekend include:

∫ A Cruise-in will roll into Civitan Park on Aug. 4 starting at 5 p.m., organized by Pioneer Antique Auto Club, with Leavitt Funeral Services as sponsor.

∫ The Belpre Mile Road Race, sponsored by Memorial Health System, will be featured the morning of Aug. 5. For information and registration information, call the Chamber office at 740-423-8934 or visit the website belprechamber.com.

∫ A recent activity which has grown in popularity will be the Puppy Contest presented by Boxers Bed and Biscuits on Aug. 5. Registration will start at noon at the gazebo in Civitan Park with a $10 registration fee.

More information about these and other events at Belpre Homecoming can be found at belprechamber.com or Belpre Homecoming on Facebook.

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