PARKERSBURG - The 2011 Parkersburg Homecoming Festival will feature three days of entertainment, activities, food and fun from Friday through Sunday in downtown Parkersburg.
This year's entertainment will provide a mix of local, regional and national performers offering a wide range of music - from bluegrass to gospel to country to classic rock - with country legend Charlie Daniels Band closing out the weekend next Sunday as the final show of the festival.
Entertainment will be offered at three venues during Homecoming, the Suddenlink Stage at the corner of Second and Avery streets, the Bicentennial park Stage near the Wood County Courthouse and Parkersburg Municipal Building and the Riverfront Park Amphitheater at Point Park.
In addition to Daniels, who previously headlined Parkersburg Homecoming in 1989, the other top entertainers will be "American Idol" finalist Bucky Covington on Friday and classic rock band Midnight Special on Saturday.
Daniels is best known for his mammoth 1979 crossover hit "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," a platinum smash that topped both the pop and country charts. He has been involved in music since 1959 as a songwriter and session guitarist. In 1973, Daniels established himself as a performer with his breakout hit "Uneasy Rider." That was followed up by southern anthems, "Long Haired Country Boy," "The South's Gonna Do It" and "Simple Man."
The Parkersburg Homecoming will also feature the Froggy 99 Texaco Country Showdown West Virginia Finals on Friday and the annual Parkersburg Homecoming Talent Show on Saturday.
Local and regional entertainers scheduled throughout the weekend will include Taylor Sams, Chase Likens, Hit Parade, Katie Blackwell, Mahkayla and Kage Queen, ShhhBang, "Liberty: A Musical Celebration of Freedom," Redd Brand, Idletymes Bluegrass Band, Johnny Staats and the Delivery Boys, The Proclaimers, The Just By Chance Barbershop Quartet and the Zach Paxsn Band.
The Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon will take place Saturday morning, followed by the Parkersburg Homecoming Parade on Market Street at noon Saturday.
Around 100 groups and organizations are expected to travel along Market Street for the 30th Parkersburg Homecoming Parade on Saturday. Local historian Bob Enoch was named the grand marshal for the parade.
Saturday's activities will conclude with the Parkersburg Homecoming Skyshow fireworks display at 10 p.m. from Fort Boreman Park. For the first time in several years, Point Park will be open to crowds who wish to watch the fireworks from the banks of the Ohio River.
Among Sunday's activities will be the seventh annual Cub Scout Soap Box Derby beginning at 1 p.m. at Seventh and Market streets in downtown Parkersburg. Following Saturday's half-marathon, The Parkersburg News and Sentinel Junior Races and Tiny Tot Trot usually draws hundreds of children and their families to Stadium Field at Parkersburg High School at 1 p.m. Sunday for their own racing competition.
For the second year, organizers of the Rubber Duck Derby at Homecoming will hold a drawing instead of dropping the ducks into the river. The drawing will be 5 p.m. Sunday at the Suddenlink Stage. The top prize is $5,000 and the nine runners-up will receive cash prizes from $1,500 down to $100.
Tickets are still $5 a piece and people can buy a group of five tickets for $20. Tickets are now available at local Foodland locations, BB&T locations, Par Mar locations, Pifers BP, Community Bank, First Federal Bank, Blennerhassett Starbucks, Wolfe's Camper Sales, the 19th Street Country Club and United Bank. They will also be sold throughout Homecoming.
The schedule of events is available at www.parkersburg-homecoming.com.
The 2012 Parkersburg Homecoming Entertainment Schedule:
6 p.m.: Opening Ceremonies (Suddenlink Stage)
6:30 p.m.: Froggy 99 Texaco Country Showdown West Virginia Finals (Suddenlink Stage)
7 p.m.: Zumba Parkersburg Homecoming Master Class (First Presbyterian Church on Juliana Street)
8 p.m.: Taylor Sams (Riverfront Park Amphitheater)
8:30 p.m.: Bucky Covington (Suddenlink Stage)
10 p.m.: Chase Likens "2012 American Idol Top 24 Finalist" (Riverfront Park Amphitheater)
8 a.m.: The Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon
Noon: Grand Parade (Market Street)
1 p.m.: Coloring Contest (Bicentennial Park Stage)
1-5 p.m.: Pressley Ridge Ice Cream Challenge (Bicentennial Park Stage)
2 p.m.: Talent Show (Suddenlink Stage); Zumba dancing
2:30 p.m.: Dog Show (Bicentennial Park Stage)
3 p.m.: Pretty Baby Contest (Ages 0-5 months) (Ages 6-11 months) (Bicentennial Park Stage)
4 p.m.: Katie Blackwell (Riverfront Park Amphitheater)
5 p.m.: Pretty Baby Contest (Ages 12-24 months) (Ages 25-36 months) (Bicentennial Park Stage)
5:30 p.m.: Mahkayla and Kage Queen (Riverfront Park Amphitheater)
7 p.m.: Hit Parade (Suddenlink Stage); ShhhBang (Riverfront Park Amphitheater); Square dancing
8 p.m.: VAC Harley Davidson Drawing (Suddenlink Stage)
8:30 p.m.: Midnight Special (Suddenlink Stage); Liberty: A Musical Celebration Of Freedom (Riverfront Park Amphitheater)
10 p.m.: Fireworks from Fort Boreman Hill
10:30 a.m.: South Parkersburg Baptist Church Services (Suddenlink Stage)
Noon: Soap Box Derby
1 p.m.: Parkersburg News and Sentinel Junior Races and Tiny Tot Trot (Stadium Field); Waiter/Waitress Race (tentative)
1-5 p.m.: 11th annual Johnny Staats Bluegrass Festival (Bicentennial Park Stage)
1 p.m.: Red Brand
2:30 p.m.: Idletymes Bluegrass Band
4 p.m.: Johnny Staats and the Delivery Boys
3:30 p.m.: The Proclaimers Quartet (Riverfront Park Amphitheater)
5 p.m.: Rubber Ducky Derby; Just By Chance Barbershop Quartet (Riverfront Park Amphitheater); Zumba dancing
6:30 p.m.: Zach Paxson Band (Suddenlink Stage)
8 p.m.: The Charlie Daniels Band (Suddenlink Stage)