GALLIPOLIS — The 47th Annual River Recreation Festival, sponsored by the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce, will officially begin on Tuesday evening, July 3, with opening ceremonies scheduled at 5 p.m. on the main stage in the Gallipolis City Park, according to Lorie Neal, IOM, Executive Director of the Chamber. Also on Tuesday evening, Michael’s Amusements, concessions and crafters will also be open at 5 p.m.
Amusement rides are a great daily attraction, with discount rides for Tuesday evening only, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., at $1 per ride. On Wednesday, July 4th, tickets only can be used on the rides. They will be open from noon until 5 p.m., and resume from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, wrist bands and tickets will be available. Thursday and Friday, rides will begin at 5 p.m. and run until 11 p.m.
In honor of Chamber Appreciation Night on Thursday, wrist bands that evening will be buy one get one free. On Saturday, Kid’s Day, there will be two sessions, noon until 5 p.m., and 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. This year, some of the featured rides include the Full Tilt, the Sizzler (similar to the Scrambler), Loopa Planes, the Swings, Wacky Shack, Boats, Kiddie Scrambler and Superman.
The French Art Colony will sponsor a very popular and most unique exhibit on Wednesday, July 4th. Each year, the FAC hosts a Festival Art Competition and Exhibit, a multi-media display, featuring the works of both professional and amateur artists from the Tri-State area. This is the 44th year the FAC has sponsored this jurored competition. The exhibit will be in the Park from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Then on Saturday — Kids’ Day — the youth exhibit of art will be on display from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Visitors to the Park are encouraged to visit both exhibits.
“Kid’s Day [Saturday, July 7] will be truly exceptional this year,” said Neal. “It takes a lot of time and hard work to put it together. The Chamber recognizes how fortunate it is to have so many local organizations and sponsors, who come together and make possible really great contests and activities for the children, as well as prizes to be given away every 30 minutes throughout the day, all free of charge.”
The River Recreation Festival Committee has a reputation for providing special entertainment for Kid’s Day. Past festivals have featured Madcap Theatre, Mark Wood, and last year, Dr. Insecta doing his “spider stroll”. This year, Musical Mark will be featured.
He says he has, “Music about bugs, bats, water, recycling, protecting nature, reading … whew! I cover a lot of ground strumming and singing!”
All five days of the 47th Annual River Recreation Festival will be full of entertainment and activities for every member of the family. Opening night on Tuesday, will feature the Junior Miss and Queen Contests, followed by a performance by Country Roads. Wednesday, the 4th, starts early with the Baby Tot Sparkler Contest, followed by Lil’ Miss and Mr. Firecracker. There will be a Talent Contest in the afternoon, then the Rotary Mile and the Independence Day Parade, with the theme, Hometown Proud. The Live Auction follows the parade, and then a Street Dance will be hosted by Prime Time Entertainment.
Thursday evening, four groups will be on the Main Stage: StillWater, The Dub V’s, Beckers Brew — and to close — Silent Susan, featuring Morgan Myles and Matt King from Nashville, TN.
The Second Annual Wiener Dog Race will take place Friday at 5:30 p.m. All dogs must have proof of shots to participate (a record from the veterinarian). Dog owners may register in advance or at the event. Registration will begin at 4:30 p.m. Prizes will be given for first through third place in the Adult Dog Division (1 year and older), and the Puppy Division (under 1 year).
On the Main Stage Friday evening will be “Chrome”, a band hailing from Cincinnati.
Saturday afternoon, from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m., will be Gospel Day, with six groups performing on the Main Stage: Ordinary People, New Southern Harmony, New City Singers, Rick Towe, New Touch and the Singing Shafers. The Ohio Valley Symphony Concert in the Park, with guest performers, the Dukes of Dixieland, will appear on the Court Street Stage. The Split the Pot drawing will take place before the launch of fireworks at 10 p.m., to conclude the 47th Annual River Recreation Festival.
See the schedule for details or call 740-446-0596 for additional information.