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Point Park ceremony kicks off Parkersburg Homecoming Festival

Delegate John Kelly, R-Wood, left, and Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce light the torch Friday evening to conclude the opening ceremony for the 2019 Parkersburg Homecoming Festival. (Photo by Wayne Towner)

PARKERSBURG — The 2019 Parkersburg Homecoming Festival kicked off Friday night at the Point Park Amphitheater.

The festival began with opening ceremonies and a local music showcase at Point Park Amphitheater and the Kids Fest at Bicentennial Park featuring games and activities.

Homecoming president Woody Miller thanked the sponsors, supporters and especially the volunteers who serve on the committees, boards and others during the opening ceremony.

Homecoming has faced challenges this year, including the closing of the main stage and changing the traditional Saturday night fireworks to a laser light show. There was a last-minute change Thursday when the carnival was canceled. It was replaced by inflatables and children’s games Friday and today.

Miller said there have been some trying times, but he was pleased to have Homecoming underway despite those challenges.

Local singer Kendall Ferrebee was the first performer in the Homegrown Music Showcase featured Friday night at Point Park Amphitheater to kick off the Parkersburg Homecoming Festival. Homecoming continues today and Sunday in and around Point Park. (Photo by Wayne Towner)

“Thank God I have a great board and committee members and directors that are very resilient. They’ve come through a lot of things. I give all of the praise and glory to them because without them, I’m just a guy. They make it happen,” he said.

“My hopes is that everyone will come down and enjoy this free entertainment.,” Miller said.

A new addition to the Friday activities and the Homecoming in general was the Kids Fest at Bicentennial Park. There were inflatables, children’s crafts, face painting and a magic show by the Great Gault.

Kids Fest director Kristi Miller said she was pleased with the turnout as several hundred children and parents gathered at Bicentennial Park for the new activity.

“I’m very happy with the response, so many people are very appreciative,” she said, adding she hopes to see Kids Fest become an annual part of Homecoming.

The Parkersburg South High School Marching Band performs Friday before the opening ceremony of the 2019 Parkersburg Homecoming Festival. (Photo by Wayne Towner)

The festival continues today and Sunday, centered around Point Park and along Juliana Street. Following this morning’s Parkerburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon, the Parkersburg Homecoming Parade will be 1 p.m. and more entertainment and activities, including new additions like the Mini Wedge Go Cart races behind Point Park Marketplace.

Today’s schedule includes

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

* 8:10 a.m.: Two Mile Race

* 10 a.m.-noon: Weigh-ins for arm wrestling competition

The Williamstown High School Marching Band performs Friday before the opening ceremony of the 2019 Parkersburg Homecoming Festival. (Photo by Wayne Towner)

* 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Mid-Ohio Valley Model Railroad Open House (NOE Office Equipment building)

* Noon: Weigh-ins for bench press competition at Point Park Gazebo

* Noon-close: Vendors and carnival

* 1 p.m.: Parkersburg Homecoming Parade on Market Street; Arm wrestling competition (Point Park)

* 1 p.m.-close: Bingo

The Parkersburg High School Marching Band performs Friday before the opening ceremony of the 2019 Parkersburg Homecoming Festival. (Photo by Wayne Towner)

* 2 p.m.: Mini Wedge Go Cart Races (Behind Point Park Marketplace)

* 2:30 p.m.: Insured Sound (Point Park Amphitheater)

* 3 p.m.: St. Andrews Pipes and Drums (parade into Point Park)

* 3:30 p.m.: Bench press competition (Point Park)

* 4 p.m.: Four on the Floor (Point Park Amphitheater)

The magician Great Gault performs for children at the first Kids Fest as part of Friday’s activities at the 2019 Parkersburg Homecoming Festival. Several hundred children and parents attended the event at Bicentennial Park which helped kick off the Homecoming, which runs through Sunday. (Photo by Wayne Towner)

* 5:30 p.m.: TRO (Point Park Amphitheater)

* 7 p.m.: D.V. Age-shun (Point Park Amphitheater)

* 8:30 p.m.: Dead Centric (Grateful Dead tribute) (Point Park Amphitheater)

* 9 p.m.: Celebrating the Hero in Your Life Luminaria (Point Park)

* 10 p.m.: Tribute to Local Heroes Laser Light Show (Point Park)

Wayne Towner can be reached at wtowner@newsandsentinel.com

The magician Great Gault performs for children at the first Kids Fest as part of Friday’s activities at the 2019 Parkersburg Homecoming Festival. Several hundred children and parents attended the event at Bicentennial Park which helped kick off the Homecoming, which runs through Sunday. (Photo by Wayne Towner)

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