PDT Staff Writer
Mark your calendar for Aug. 29 - Sept. 2 if you’re looking for entertainment and family fun. That’s the week of the 50th annual River Days event in the riverfront area of Portsmouth, and this year there’s something totally new added to the lineup.
The Ricer Equipment Buckeye State Sanctioned Pedal Tractor Pullers Tractor Pull will be held on Aug. 30 with registration at 6 p.m., and the event beginning at 7 p.m. on Front Street in Portsmouth.
“It’ll be free for the kids. The competition ages are 4-11,” Teresa Bratton of the Portsmouth River Days Committee said. “Everyone participating will get a ribbon. The Top 3 in each group will get trophies. We will have an adult pull if we have enough adults register, and that registration fee is $5.”
Bratton said the winners are eligible to go to the Ohio State Fair and compete.
Again, as in years past, there will be evenings packed with entertainment, which Chairman Trent Williams says will lean a little more toward the country genre.
Thursday, Aug. 29, at 8:30 p.m. the headline act will be the very popular Phil Dirt and the Doziers, with special guests, Steve Free and City Heat. Friday, Aug. 30, at 9:30 p.m., the main act will be The Kentucky Headhunters, with guests the Rose Mountain Ramblers and The Whipps. Big time country act Restless Heart will be the featured attraction on Saturday, Aug. 31 at 9:30 p.m. and special guests will include Larry Whitt and Blue-Eyed Soul and Terry Hall and the Dave Morrison Band. Sunday, Sept. 1, at 8:30 p.m., Cook & Belle will top off the evening’s entertainment, which will also include Bobby Blanton and Doc Roc and the Remedies.
At 10 p.m. Sunday, the SOMC Fireworks Extravanza will put the final touch on a big day of entertainment that will include kids activities at York Park from 12-4 p.m., with the United Way Ducky Derby also at noon, and the River Days Praise Fest at 2 p.m. - 5 p.m., featuring Trinu and the Marty Ford Experience.
“It’s something I wanted to do,” Williams said. “I’ve had people ask me to have maybe some local churches choirs or something sing down here, but I wanted to take it to another level and make it more professional, yet still spiritual.”
The activities will climax on Monday, Sept. 2, with a classic car show.
All during the five days of River Days individual events will be going on including a full lineup of vendors.
“Julia McGraw (740-858-5143) takes care of our concessions,” Bratton said. “She usually has that whole road at the top full. As far as I know we will have a good variety again this year.”
Treats for sale include elephant ears, ice cream, sandwiches, pizza, and novelty items such as beachwear, sunglasses and purses. Vendors, including arts and crafts sales, will also be located on the outside of the floodwall.
Saturday will see a community yard sale on Front Street from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
“People can rent a 10-foot space for $10,” Bratton said. “If they need additional space, it will be $1 per foot. They can come down, sell their stock. If they want to set up they can contact me at 740-357-5059. We’re hoping a lot of people will participate, and if it goes well this year, then we can continue to have it every year.”
The Rent-2-Own River Days Grand Parade will again step off Saturday morning at 11. Applications are available at several locations, including the Scioto County Welcome Center, or online at portsmouthriverdays.org.
Williams said the major sponsors for the events are Southern Ohio Medical Center and Pepsi Cola, but a lot of other businesses have also contributed to the financial needs including Neal Hatcher Real Estate, Ohio Automotive Center and The Glockner Family of Dealerships. Bratton said the committee, made up completely of volunteers, also appreciates any donations. She said anyone wishing to make a donation can contact her.
“The 50th Miss River Days Queen’s Pageant is Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. Tickets are available at the door,” Williams said. “We also have the baby tiny, and the little junior, and teen, and they are Thursday night at 6 o’clock, also at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts.”
Many other events are scheduled during that week and all information is available at portsmouthriverdays.org.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.