GALLIPOLIS — The Gallipolis River Recreation Festival is in full preparation mode and thanks to the many sponsors that have already joined in, this year looks to be the biggest in recent memory.
In addition to national headliners Trent Tomlinson and Drew Baldridge taking the stage on July 4 leading up to the annual fireworks display, featured attractions will include the River Rec Parade, Kids Day with free inflatables, and local gospel and Contemporary Christian music.
Some changes have been made to the order of events and while the schedule is still somewhat tentative, attendees will notice some events in a little different order.
“This year we are moving the parade to July 3 at 4 p.m. with rising country star Jess Kellie Adams to follow on the stage,” said Josh Wellington, Executive Director of the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce. “By moving the parade to the first day, it will not only increase foot traffic on that day to our experience our vendors in the park but will also allow kids who may be participating in the parade to enjoy kids day on the next day.”
This year will also see some changes in the area of entertainment as well. While many are used to seeing the music being played on the city’s mobile stage, due to the size of the entertainment, this year the bands as well as other stage events will be taking place on a music festival type stage spanning 750 square feet.
“We have been fortunate this year to be able to bring big name entertainment to the City Park and in doing so needed to expand our stage presence and thanks to an amazing sponsor we are able to present this event in a way many may have never seen,” Wellington said. “I think people will be blown away when they see the performances that take place on the Robin Fowler State Farm Stage.”
In order to put an event of this size on, it not only takes a large group of volunteers, but also a lot of sponsors willing to help cover the cost. As the price of everything seems to be going up, sponsorships are as important or more important than ever.
“We are very fortunate to have the support from our community,” Wellington said. “From our Patriot Sponsors Foster Sales and Leasing, Holzer Health System, Ohio Valley Bank, and Tuscany Italian Restaurant to our Community Sponsors that dedicate part of their membership to the festival, we could not do it without them. We also could not have our fireworks display that so many families enjoy without our sponsors, Pleasant Valley Hospital, Court Street Ministries, and Mark Porter Auto Group. Another big event that benefits the Festival is our Duck Race and that is not possible without the support we have received from the beginning of the event from Holzer Health System. Other businesses and organizations such as Field of Hope, Buckeye Hills Career Center, and Willow Wood Antique and Craft Mall have also come forward to help u with sponsorships as well. I am sure we will have others to thank in the future as the support continues to grow as the event grows closer.”
The Chamber of Commerce hopes to make another announcement in regards to the parade and Kid’s Day in the next couple of weeks. This year’s theme for the festival and the parade will be “I Call It Home” and participants are encouraged to decorate their floats and presentations to match the theme. Registration details for the parade will be opening soon and information will be posted on the Chamber of Commerce Facebook page and on the festival’s website at www.gallipolisriverrec.com.
“We look forward to a great event this summer and hope to build on the success of last year’s event by continuing to bring new and exciting events to our community,” Wellington said.
Information provided by Gallia County Chamber of Commerce.