Clear skies give boost to start of Parkersburg Homecoming Festival

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
Russell Dickerson was the headline performer during the first night of the Parkersburg Homecoming on Friday.

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Russell Dickerson was the headline performer during the first night of the Parkersburg Homecoming on Friday.

PARKERSBURG — Homecoming 2017 got off to a good start with fun, food and music under clear skies Friday night.

In the opening ceremony Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce praised the work of city employees involved in transforming Second Street into a carnival fairway.

“I want to thank the city employees who made this possible,” he said. “They’ve been working hard all week and planning this over the past few months. I learned really quick those guys know a lot more about this stuff than I do since they’ve been doing it for a long time.

“My hat is off to the public works, police department, the fire department, the electric shop and all in between,” Joyce said.

Headlining the entertainment for the night was Russell Dickerson. Dickerson is best known for his hit “Yours” and has performed on “The Bachelorette” and “The Today Show.” He made his Grand Ole Opry debut last year.

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
Lakotah Mae Prive, left, and Madeline Keller, right, both of Parkersburg, work on entries for the coloring contest.

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Lakotah Mae Prive, left, and Madeline Keller, right, both of Parkersburg, work on entries for the coloring contest.

Jessica Keller, of Parkersburg, said she was looking forward to some good food and good entertainment.

“The fireworks are always exciting,” she said.

Keller said she did not know the festival was cut down to two days this year, saying she wished it was longer.

“I wish we could get more to sponsor,” she said. “It’s nice to see the whole town get together for this.”

Michelle Prive, also of Parkersburg, said she too wished the festival was longer.

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
Isabella Howard, of Parkersburg, works on an entry for the Homecoming coloring contest during the opening of the Parkersburg Homecoming Friday evening.

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Isabella Howard, of Parkersburg, works on an entry for the Homecoming coloring contest during the opening of the Parkersburg Homecoming Friday evening.

“It wish it was longer,” she said. “I’d try to come every night.”

Linda Brookover, of Parkersburg, said going to the Homecoming was an annual event for her and her husband.

“We come here every year,” she said. “We walk through and enjoy the music.”

Brookover said while she does not know anything about any of the performers at this Homecoming she still likes to come and listen.

“They are all younger than me,” she said. “I just come to see what it is. I’ve never heard of them but we’ll come to see what they are like.”

Brookover said she was unhappy about a day being cut from the homecoming.

“I don’t like that, but I understand the reasoning,” she said.

Paul Brookover came along with his wife for the evening. He thinks the quality of the festival has gone down some from past years.

“It has really slacked off from what it used to be,” he said. “Money has a lot to do with it.”

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Today’s schedule:

* 8 a.m.: Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon

* 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Model Railroad Club Open House (601 Green St. rear)

* Noon: Grand Parade

* 1:30 p.m.: Cornhole Tournament (Second Street and Television Plaza)

* 2 p.m.: Hot Dog Eating Contest (Bicentennial Park Stage)

* 2-6 p.m.: 16th annual Johnny Staats Bluegrass Festival (Point Park Amphitheatre)

* 2 p.m.: Tunnel Hill

* 3:15 p.m.: Blue Steel

* 4:30 p.m.: Johnny Staats and The Delivery Boys

* 2:30 p.m.: Steve Dixon Magic Show (Bicentennial Park Stage); Doughnut Eating Contest (Bicentennial Park Stage) (tentative)

* 3 p.m.: Dog Show (Bicentennial Park Stage); Wrestling Event (Third and Avery streets)

* 4:30 p.m.: Steve Dixon Magic Show (Bicentennial Park Stage)

* 5 p.m.: Get Rhythm Karaoke (Bicentennial Park Stage)

* 6:30 p.m.: Mike Morningstar (Main Stage)

* 7 p.m.: Band of Brothers (Main Stage)

* 8:20 p.m.: WTAP Rubber Ducky Drawing (Main Stage)

* 8:30 p.m.: Donnie Iris and The Cruisers (Main Stage); SSIK – KISS Tribute Band (Point Park Amphitheatre)

* 10 p.m.: Fireworks from Fort Boreman Hill

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