Follansbee Community Days offers music, food

FOLLANSBEE – Organizers of Follansbee Community Days, to be held July 11-13, are again preparing three days of entertainment, food and other activities as well as a few kickoff events beginning on July 5.

A highlight has been the three free nights of music by a mix of nationally known singing groups and popular local bands and singers, so it’s fitting this year’s theme will be “A Celebration of the Sounds of Follansbee.”

Don Layburn who, as entertainment coordinator, has booked many of the groups that have appeared, will serve as marshal of the Community Days parade, which will begin at 1 p.m. July 12 on Main Street (state Route 2).

He, fellow Community Days committee member Dan Reasner and representatives of four local bands that have been staples of the festival were recognized at the Community Days Dinner Thursday. The dinner was held earlier than usual to accommodate guest speaker Lou Holtz.

The dinner is among many events and activities planned by the Community Days committee headed by co-chairs Nina Meca and Tom Ludewig, from a prayer breakfast on July 5 and the popular kickoff at Follansbee Park on July 6 to the three-day festival itself at the park’s parking lot adjacent to the Community House.

The prayer breakfast will be held at 8:30 a.m. at Follansbee United Methodist Church at 1002 Virginia Ave. and will involve clergy from area churches. Everyone is welcome.

The kickoff at the park will be held from noon to 5:30 p.m., with music by Ron Retzer, games for children, a bocce tournament and free hot dogs, soft drinks and sno cones.

Ludewig said while free swimming at the city pool was offered in the past, a decision was made to charge regular admission to offset costs for operating the pool through the season. The admission is $5 for everyone except children under 5, who are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

The Follansbee Community Days 5K Run-Walk will return on July 10. Runners and walkers of all ages will line up at 6:30 p.m. at the tennis and basketball courts at Highland Hills and proceed through the neighborhood back to the courts.

Medals will go to the top three male and female runners and walkers in each of the following age groups: 19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and older.

Participants in the Health Plan Ohio Valley Runners’ and Walkers’ Club’s Grand Prix Series of runs will earn points for participating in the Follansbee event.

The entry fee is $20 and forms can be obtained at the Follansbee City Building or online at grandprix.healthplan.org.

Ludewig said more than 30 food and craft booths will be set up at the Follansbee Park parking lot and nine musical groups will perform during the three-day festival.

Set to begin at 5 p.m., the entertainment lineup consists of Steve Breen, Refugee and Phil Dirt and the Dozers on July 11; Joel Smith, the Vince Villanova Big Band and a Bee Gees tribute band on July 12; and The Driftin’ Hoopie Experience, Original Fantasys and Shout: Legends of Rock and Roll on July 13.

There also will be a classic car show, organized by the Ohio Valley Mopar Club, on July 13 from noon to 3 p.m. outside Follansbee Middle School. There will be music by disc jockey The Spikeman, door prizes and a 50-50 drawing.

The cost for car owners to participate is $3, and registration will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. About 10 trophies and 100 dash plaques will be awarded.

Capping off the festival will be a fireworks display, with the cooperation of Zambelli Fireworks of Pittsburgh.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com)