The 81st annual Belpre Homecoming heated up Thursday evening with its opening ceremony.
Belpre Mayor, Mike Lorentz along with Marietta Mayor, Joe Matthews and Parkersburg Homecoming Chair, Cyndie Wade helped light up the torch at Civitan Park.
Belpre's homecoming is the first of three festivals where the torch will be passed on.
The torch will also make its way at the Parkersburg Homecoming and the Sternwheel Festival in Marietta.
"The torch to me represents the uniting of the three communities. We're all river communities, we all watch the boats go up and down the river and we share bridges to bridges altogether," says Belpre Homecoming Chair, Kathy Lott-Gramkow.
Belpre's homecoming runs through Sunday.
Parkersburg's homecoming kicks off on the 16th..
And the Sternwheel Festival starts on September 6th.