But it has a practical purpose, too.
“It brings people from outside of the area to spend money in Portsmouth,” he said. “They ride the rides, they see the stores and shops downtown, the flea markets.”
Baughman said visitors to River Days bring in anywhere from $500,000 to the millions in additional revenue.
The 2007 edition, billed as “Shakin' on the River,” begins Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Court Street Landing.
The Grass Roots will take the stage at 9, entertaining the crowd with classics like “Midnight Confession,” “Temptation Eyes” and “Two Divided by Love.”
Friday will feature the Rotary fish fry starting at 11 a.m. on the Roy Rogers Esplanade.
The Court Street Landing will open at 5 p.m., with Shenandoah performing songs like “Church on Cumberland Road” and “I Want to be Loved Like That” at 9.
Saturday promises to be an especially busy day, with the midway opening at 10 a.m.
The River Days Parade will start at 11 a.m. at Spartan Stadium before winding its way through the city streets and ending at Tracy Park.
The 45th Miss River Days Queen's Pageant will be at Shawnee State University's Vern Riffe Center for the Arts at 7 p.m.
Eddie Money will entertain the crowd at 9 p.m. at the Court Street stage.
His hits include, “Two Tickets to Paradise and “Take Me Home Tonight,” along with “Shakin.”
The midway will open again at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
Ambrosia will hit the Court Street stage at 8:30 p.m.
The band is known for “How Much I Feel” and “Biggest Part of Me.”
The fireworks show at 10 p.m., will close out the festival, as no events are scheduled for Labor Day.
Along with the featured acts, the weekend will feature various local acts, rides, foods, crafts and other attractions.
Baughman said River Days is a chance to show off the Boneyfiddle area of the city.
“Just look at the numbers of people that come to town and see what's available and see the beautiful riverfront,” he said. “It brings the entertainment to town, which is something we're trying to make a more important part of the city.”
The city usually honors its notable citizens during River Days by having them sign a floodwall star. However, this year's signing is canceled because of refurbishing work on the floodwall.
Mayoral assistant Crystal Weghorst said there will be two signings next year, though. One will be in the spring and the other will be at next year's River Days Festival.
JEFF BARRON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.