Wintersville will be the place to be this Friday and Saturday.
That's when organizers have scheduled the annual Thunder in the Ville festival, which traditionally has served as the kickoff to the Independence Day celebration for the Tri-State Area.
The venue this year has changed to Indian Creek High School, but the fun and camaraderie will remain the same.
Opening ceremonies are at the end of the work day on Friday, at 5:30 p.m., and the event concludes with a fireworks display at 10 p.m. Saturday.
In between, there is plenty of quality musical entertainment, the Street Dreams Rod and Custom Car Show on Saturday and lots of food and fun. While perusing classic vehicles, festival-goers can sample such fare as steak hoagies, Mexican and oriental foods, sloppy joes and kettle corn
It's the first of several events in coming days that recognize the nation's birthday by celebrating the freedom to gather, be entertained and enjoy friends and family.
We salute the organizers who have stuck with Thunder in the Ville through the years, from its time at the Jefferson County Air Park to the move into the village, through economic ups and downs. The event is an example of what small towns can do with dedication, civic pride and active volunteers who give of their time and talents.