WEIRTON - Hundreds of area residents lined Main Street in Weirton Wednesday for the annual parade and festival to celebrate Independence Day.
With more than 100 parade entries, those waiting for the parade lined the streets as early as 9 a.m. waiting for the start of the parade at 10 a.m. and stayed throughout the day for the food, activities and entertainment planned at the Weirton Renaissance Summerfest.
"Our family comes out and sits at the corner of the Cove Presbyterian Church every year to watch the parade," said former Ward 2 Councilman Harold "Bubba" Miller. "The grandkids love it and it's a great tradition that I am glad to see continue."
Several vendors were set up along Main Street with food, jewelry and activities for young people that included Kurt James Fun and Games inflatables, an exotic animals display and the Weirton Police dunk booth.
To kick things off, Mayor George Kondik thanked everyone for coming out for the festival and parade. He said the Renaissance Weirton Committee put a great deal of work into organizing the event along with financial support from local legislators.
Kondik made a special presentation to Dennis Jones, president of the Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center, and Dr. J.K. Luthra for their efforts to getting the museum's new location on track and bringing new life back to Main Street.
PATRIOTIC THEME — A variety of colorful and patriotic-themed floats and other attractions made their way down Main Street during Wednesday’s Weirton Fourth of July Parade as spectators lined the sidewalks to watch. -- Craig Howell
"I normally present these awards at a city council meeting but I thought it would be appropriate to honor these men today," he said. "We appreciate you and the work you've done. Thank you."
Other activities Wednesday included a display of exotic animals at 1 p.m. in the Weirton Room of the Millsop Community Center and the return of the festival's talent show - Summerfest Sing-off.
The Summerfest lined up entertainment including the Weirton Community Players, Anthony Thomas Band, Ditch, The Joseph Sisters, Original Fantasy and Legend followed by a fireworks display which was launched downtown behind the Weirton Fire Department Headquarters to conclude the celebration.
"This has been an all-day thing where people can came down for the parade and stay for the festival and the fireworks," said Renaissance Weirton Committee Chairman Gus Monezis. "It's been a great crowd and I hope we continue to see it grow each year."
(Dickson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)