MARIETTA - Despite bad weather in the morning, a bright sunny day greeted visitors later Saturday on the first full day of the 37th annual Ohio River Sternwheel Festival.
John Coppernoll, director general of the festival, said while there were no estimates of those who came to downtown Marietta, he said it did not appear to be smaller than past years.
"It's like a normal sized crowd for us," he said.
Photo by Robb DeCamp
The Ohio River Sternwheel Festival fireworks display lights up the sky over Marietta on Saturday. The festival continues today from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Ohio River Levee.
One booth that drew a lot of attention from young and old alike was the Riverworks Discoveries booth operated by Gene and Jeannie Zopp. During the festival they were giving lessons on how to stop pollution in the rivers of the area and how to conserve water as a homeowner.
Gene Zopp said they have been to a number of festivals in the area over the summer season.
"This is our third year at Marietta," he added.
Zopp said while the programs they present are geared toward children, they find the adults listen as well.
"It seems like the adults get as much a kick out of this as the children," he said. "The adults are very attentive."
"We try to cater to the kids," said Jeannie Zopp. "We are trying to give them an idea of what's going on."
One festival staple was given a unique twist by Dawn Grutner, of Pittsburgh, who said her face paintings were custom designs. She also did temporary tattoos.
"I'm a make-up artist and a fine artist," she said. "My designs are unique and I also have the temporary tattoos that will last up to two weeks."
Grutner said she has been the sternwheel festival in Marietta a number of times.
"This is a great festival," she said, "a good time for everyone."
Kristen Bosgraf, of Waverly, said she has been to the festival many times since it has something for everyone in her family.
"We come here since it is a family event," she said. "My husband likes to be outdoors on the river and I like coming to downtown Marietta."
The sternwheel festival will conclude today with a sunrise service, car show, entertainment and sternwheel races on the Ohio River.