PDT Staff Writer
Officials with the 50th Annual River Days Festival say that even if it rains today, activities of the festival and parade will still go on.
Friday afternoon Weather.com was reporting a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms today, and a 90 percent chance of thunderstorms tonight.
“Unless it’s a real bad downpour like it was last year things will still go on. We will still have the show, we will still have the parade,” said Teresa Bratton, Vice Chairwoman of the River Days Festival.
River Days Chairman Trent Williams said in the event of rain, “we will be dealing with it on a minute-by-minute basis, depending on what kind of weather comes in.” He said his biggest concern is Sunday night.
“That’s our fireworks night and we had to cancel them last year due to rain. Last year we had three days of really hot weather, similar to this year. It started raining on Sunday afternoon and it rained until Wednesday.”
When asked if there is a back-up plan for the parade if it rains, parade organizer Kim Bauer said, “we get wet.”
“The only thing we would disband the parade for is if it’s lightning or of the wind kicks up exceptionally hard,” Bauer said. “The way I look at all of these kids in these parades and everything, I take care of them like they are my nieces or nephews. I’ve told band directors they should do what they think is best and if they want to pull out of the parade, you pull out. If I think there is one hint of one of these kids being in danger, I’ll shut it down and tell people to head to high ground.”
Bauer said based on the radar she seen Friday, she feels the parade will go off without a hitch.
This year’s River Days Parade will have a 50s theme.
“In the parade you can expect to see jukeboxes, replicas of ‘57 Chevy’s and many other things that these contestants have done for their floats, it’s going to be very entertaining,” Bauer said.
The River Days Grand Parade is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. The route for the parade will be Jackson Ave., North of Offnere St., West on Gallia St, North on Gay Street, disbanding at Tracy Park. Parade announcers will be located at Jackson and Offnere, Offnere and Gallia and Waller. The grand marshall of this year’s parade are past chairmen of the River Days event.
The opening ceremonies of the festival took place in Thursday night. Bratton said the festival was given a certificate of recognition from the Secretary of state’s office honoring the festival in it’s 50th year. She said Bo Bice put on a good show Thursday night and quite a few people came out to see him.
“He (Bice) did a wonderful show and there was a decent crowd that came out,” Bratton said.
Bratton encouraged people to participate in the remainder of the festival.
“Saturday night is always our largest crowd, that’s our 80s night, Reagonomics does all 80s hits and we also go Night Ranger playing. We’ve had a lot of calls asking about Night Ranger and Josh Thompson (played Friday night), so we are hoping for big crowds through the remainder of the festival,” Bratton said.
Saturday activities for the festival include, the 35th annual Run for Your Life. The 5k and 10k run will begin and end at the SOMC Life Center.
The 49th Annual Miss. River Days Queen’s Pageant will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Vern Riffe Center For the Arts at Shawnee State University.
The band While We Wait will take the stage at 6:15 p.m. and the band Hampton Avenue will take the stage at 7 p.m. Hampton Avenue was the winner of the Garrett Maloney Foundation Battle of the bands that took place during the recent Rally For Recovery. The band While We Wait, took second during the competition. Reagonomics will take the river front stage at 7:45 p.m. with the band Night Ranger staking the stage at 9:30 p.m.
Williams said for up to the date information or announcements, visit the festival’s facebook page.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.