BELPRE - The 82nd annual Belpre Homecoming Festival is closer to reality as the entertainment lineup has been selected for the three-day event.
Headlining music performers for all three nights beginning July 31 and including Aug. 1 and 2 have been chosen and will take the stage each evening of the festival.
"Entertainment has been nailed for the three days and we are excited about all of the acts," said Karen Waller, executive director of the Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce. "The Thursday night kick-off is really exciting."
Zach Paxon is shown playing his guitar. Paxon will be performing Saturday night,?Aug. 2, at the 82nd Belpre Homecoming Festival.
The chamber, which has always organized the homecoming weekend, traditionally has local and national music acts of all genres performing throughout the Thursday through Saturday event.
The headlining act for the weekend will be Hotel California, A Salute to the Eagles, appearing July 31 on the main stage in Belpre's Civitan Park.
The band, composed of music industry professionals, presents a show to salute the music of The Eagles, the now classic rock supergroup.
"To me, this band will bring the biggest opening night of the Belpre Homecoming for the past several years," said homecoming chairman David Sams. "The Eagles are one of the most popular bands out there; people of all ages know and love their music, so I think the park will be full."
Not only will Hotel California showcase popular songs by The Eagles, but also titles from solo careers of the band's members Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh.
For Youth Night on Aug. 1, country performer Tristen Smith, a St. Clairsville, Ohio, native, will take the stage. He won the Jamboree USA Star Quest competition at the age of 12 and became the youngest performer at Jamboree in the Hills, performing in front of more than 60,000 people.
"We are all excited about the youth night," said Sams. "Really, I feel very comfortable with all of the groups we have signed."
At 20 years old, Smith is a good age to attract the younger members of the homecoming audience, Waller said.
This will be the third year, the three-day event will have the adult chamber members work with the youth chamber for the weekend with the "Healthy Youth and Families" program.
Waller said the adult chamber members are using the annual event to help teach the younger generation what goes into putting on a program.
"The Belpre Youth Chamber has been very involved in organizing Friday night this year," she said. "I don't think they realized how much work putting on homecoming takes."
On the final night, up-and-coming country singer/songwriter Zach Paxon will take the stage with his hit "Ohio," a tribute to the state.
"So, this year's homecoming will have an Eagles night, youth night and Ohio celebration night," Waller said.
As always, this year's homecoming will also feature carnival rides, inflatables and other entertainment.
"Overall, we have all the T's crossed and I's dotted," Sams said. "We are all ready for homecoming and waiting for July 31."