Vietnam Moving Wall coming to Follansbee

FOLLANSBEE – A half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. will be a special addition to this year’s Follansbee Community Days festival, thanks to the efforts of the Follansbee Chamber of Commerce, the Community Days Committee and others.

Chamber President Tony Paesano recently presented a $3,000 donation for a visit by The Moving Wall, adding to $2,000 raised by the Community Days Committee.

Paesano said in addition to helping to bring the wall to Follansbee, the donation also will pay for a platform for the monument, security, and U.S. flags, banners and other decorations to accompany it when it is displayed at the Follansbee Middle School football field.

The site is not far from the parking lot of the Follansbee Community House at Follansbee Park, where the festival will be held for a second year.

Comprised of sturdy aluminum panels, the 252 foot long mobile wall, like the granite monument in Washington, bears the names of more than 58,000 men and women who died while serving in Vietnam from 1959 to 1975.

The Follansbee Community Days Committee expressed thanks to chamber members and others who contributed to the wall’s visit, Follansbee City Council, which allocated $25,000 for the festival and the Brooke County Board of Education, which granted permission for the wall to be displayed at the football field.

Tom Ludewig, who co-chairs the committee with Nina Meca, said The Moving Wall is expected to arrive on July 11, and a special program is planned for 11 a.m. July 12, the first day of the three-day festival.

From July 12 through 14, a variety of food and craft vendors will line the Community House parking lot. Entertainment will include: Steve Breen, The Joseph Sisters and The Marcels, the latter famous for “Blue Moon” and other doo-wop hits, on Friday; the Brenda Casey Dance Studio, Michele Dance Studio, The Next, Vince Villanova Big Band and Joel Smith and Shout: Legends of Soul on Saturday; and Cindy’s Fusion Fitness Zumba studio, The Studio, 1 Step Up Dance Studio, Center Stage Dance Studio, The Driftin’ Hoopie Experience, Legend and Rag Doll (a Four Seasons tribute) on Sunday.

Festivities also will include the Community Days Parade at 1 p.m. July 13, a classic car show at 10 a.m. in front of the Follansbee Middle School Fieldhouse and a bocce tournament at 2:30 p.m., both on July 14; and fireworks following entertainment on July 14.

The festival again will be kicked off with a series of pre-events, beginning with a community prayer breakfast at 9 a.m. July 6 at the Community House. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at the Follansbee City Building or at the door.

The Community Days Kick-off in Follansbee Park on July 7 will begin with the second Follansbee Community Days Oil Can Derby at 9 a.m. on adjacent Mark Avenue.

The event is open to boys and girls, ages 8-15. The registration fee is $20 and forms may be picked up at Al’s Auto Service on state Route 2. For information, call (304) 737-2271.

Starting at noon, there will be free hot dogs, sno cones and drinks, swimming at the city pool, children’s games and, from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., music at the park’s gazebeo from the Original Fantasy’s, a local oldies rock and roll group.

The annual Follansbee Community Days Dinner will be held at 5 p.m. July 10. Tickets are $20 each and may be purchased at the Follansbee City Building.

Over the years the dinner has enabled the festival’s committee and local officials to recognize active community members and Follansbee natives who have gone on to success in various fields.

Set for July 11 at 6:30 p.m., the Mayor’s 5K Run-Walk will have a new location, the Highland Hills residential area, and will be a part of the Health Plan Ohio Valley Runners & Walkers Club’s Grand Prix Series, with participants of those events earning points for it.

The event will begin and end at the tennis and basketball courts off Highland Hills Drive. Registration is $15 by July 3 and $20 after that date. Forms may be found at the Follansbee City Building or online at

(Scott can be contacted at