A rite of summer, homecoming -- Parkersburg and Belpre are gearing up for theirs this August.
"Parkersburg Homecoming Festival to me brings the spirit of the town together,” says new homecoming president Cyndie Wade.
Wherever you live, it's a chance to take in some fun and soak up the summer sun.
"Southside, northside, Vienna, all over the county, Marietta, and it also brings families that come back just for homecoming to visit their families,” Wade says.
The excitement is building for entertainment on the river.
"It’s difficult to find good quality free entertainment and Belpre Homecoming offers some good performers, some nationally known performers,” says Karen Waller, executive director of the Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce.
“We also offer the traditional carnival; lots of vendors, crafters, pageants, beauty pageants that will be offered down by the river. This is a good chance for everyone to get together -- see old friends, meet some new people that are coming into town."
Parkersburg has America, the iconic folk rock band of the 70s taking the stage this summer.
"People are really excited and I’m getting a lot of e-mails and phone calls about them coming and stuff,” Wade says. “The great thing about our entertainment is it is free and open to the public and allows the families to come and sit together."
No homecoming would be complete without some good eats.
"Nothing like fair and festival food, lots of food, lots of local food, people bringing food in; plus some other things you can usually expect -- funnel cakes and the usual lemonade and things like that,” Waller says. “So it'll be a good time."
Then there's always that sense of nostalgia.
"As children a lot of us remember coming to the homecoming and doing exciting things, being in the parades and doing all the different things that go along with that,” says Kathy Lott-Gramkow, first vice president of the Belpre Chamber. “Sometimes it's nice just to come home, to something that's familiar."
Here's the entertainment line-up:
Parkersburg welcomes America to the stage Sunday night.
Saturday/Devonshires and local band, Mirror Mirror take the stage.
On Friday night/country star Jason Michael Carroll performs.
Over in Belpre...
American Idol finalist Chase Likens will wow the crowd on Thursday.
Friday/up and coming country star Joel Crouse performs... with Brent Cobb opening the show.
And Friday night/Titus Canbe and Jinxed will end the festivities on a high note.
Belpre Homecoming is August 1-3 and Parkersburg is August 16-18.
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