PARKERSBURG - A new president of the Parkersburg Homecoming will take office Jan. 1.
Cyndie Wade will succeed Randall Roberts, a retired executive from the Pepsi Cola Bottling Co., who has been president of the homecoming board since 2009, Wade, who with her husband, Carl, own New Image Services Plus on Seventh Street, is vice president of the homecoming.
Wade is excited and hopes to expand events and activities related to the annual festival. Homecoming is a morale booster for the community, she said.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Randall Roberts, left, will turn over the helm of the Parkersburg Homecoming to Cyndie Wade, right, on Jan. 1. Roberts has led the homecoming committee since 2009.
"It's all about the community," Wade said.
The Parkersburg Homecoming is held the third weekend of August. The main events are the Saturday night fireworks show and the Sunday evening entertainment that in the past has included the Dixie Chicks, Kathy Mattea, Brad Paisley, George Jones, Eddie Money, Grand Funk Railroad and the Charlie Daniels Band, the 2012 headliners.
Wade said she became involved in the homecoming several years ago while she was the president of the Parkersburg High School Big Red Crew, which had a booth at the homecoming. Roberts talked her into getting involved with the homecoming after she no longer was president of crew, encouraging her to become vice president of the homecoming with the intentions she would become president, she said.
Among the ideas for expanding the homecoming are more river-based acts at Point Park, such shows involving Jet Skis, Wade said. The committee also is planning a Valentines Day dance and auction of a guitar signed by the groups and entertainers who performed at past homecomings, she said.
The rub is how to pay for new activities, Wade said.
"We just want to grow," she said.
Roberts, 70, announced he would step down as president on Tuesday at the Parkersburg City Council meeting. He has been involved with homecoming for 30 years and intends to remain on its board of directors.
He and his wife own a motorhome and she wants to use it more often and spend more time with the grandchildren, Roberts said. Homecoming takes a great deal of time, he said.
"Homecoming is 12 months a year,' Roberts said. "I found out if you want to do it right."
Roberts also points out that the homecoming, which in years past has lost money, has again finished the year free of debt and is $8,000 to the good. All the bills have been paid and the scholarship fund for the homecoming queen is not in danger of going bankrupt, he said.
"All the bills have been paid four years in a row now," Roberts said.
Moreover, homecoming this year spent $20,000 more than in previous years for better entertainment, he said.
"Randall has done such an awesome job with homecoming," Wade said.