GALLIPOLIS — Perfect weather highlighted this year’s Gallipolis River Recreation Festival and Saturday evening’s festivities closed with the annual fireworks display over the Ohio River at Gallipolis City Park.
Held each year around the Fourth of July holiday, the annual River Recreation Festival is the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce’s annual fundraising event and is organized by the chamber and the River Recreation Festival Committee.
The chamber’s executive director, Michelle Miller, commented following the festival that, as this was her first year organizing the event, the timing was perfect to make changes and additions to the annual festival.
“We tried a few new things this year, one of which being the inflatables,” Miller said. “Overall, the response from parents was great. We will look at adding more inflatables next year and different attractions geared toward very young children and teenagers.”
The 49th annual River Rec Festival opened Thursday evening with the Queen’s Parade, Junior Miss Pageant and Queen’s Pageant. The annual Independence Day Parade followed on Friday evening. More than 100 entries participated in this year’s parade with 1980s hair band “No Regrets” taking the stage immediately following the parade. Country recording artist Matt Stillwell closed out the festivities Friday night.
Saturday was Kids’ Day as contests and games were held throughout the morning and afternoon for children, including the popular terrapin races and the “Minute to Win It” game.
Saturday evening was Gospel night, with popular local gospel groups entertaining a large crowd that gathered on the riverbank for the fireworks display at 10 p.m. Saturday.
Miller further commented that not only the beautiful weather, but also the multitude of volunteers who helped with this year’s River Rec Festival made the event such a success.
“Of course, the amazing weather this weekend was a big factor with the festival’s success,” Miller said. “The chamber staff and board want to thank all those who assisted us, whether it be with a sponsorship or as a volunteer. A festival of this size would not be possible without them.”
For more information on the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce, visit www.galliacounty.org or call (740) 446-0596.