River Days kicks off September 2nd


PORTSMOUTH – River Days, the longest running festival in Ohio, is celebrating its 59th year. The annual Labor Day Festival held in Portsmouth kicks off on Friday, September 2nd and runs until Sunday, September 4th.

The festival will feature daily amusement rides, games, a vendor marketplace, and food trucks near the court street landing from 11AM to 11PM each day.

Friends of Portsmouth, a local non-profit community development organization, took over the organizing of the festival over the last several years and have made some changes to the layout. The festival no longer kicks off on Thursday and skews more towards country music fans with headlining musical acts such Neal McCoy and Chris Higbee.

The opening ceremony for River Days kicks off at 5PM on Friday, followed by the introduction of the River Days Queen contestants (5:15PM) and the boat parade (6PM). Returning musical acts the Bad Habits and Jacob Tolliver and the Million Dollar Quartet will take the stage from 7:30-11:30PM.

The parade kicks off Saturday’s festivities at 11AM followed by jet ski races and Typhoon Tommy’s jet pack show (11:30AM-5PM) and the Miss River Day’s Queen Pageant (6:30PM). Central Ohio classic rock band Direct Energy takes the stage at 7PM followed by Neal McCoy at 9PM. McCoy is an American Country artist who has had nine top ten billboard country hits throughout his career. He is best known for songs such as “No Doubt About It” and “Wink”.

Sunday will feature more jet ski racing and Typhoon Tommy’s jet pack show from 11AM to 5PM followed by Candyland Children Museum activities at York Park (12-2PM), the ducky derby (5PM), and the River Day’s Queen Introduction (5:15PM). Country music acts McGuffey Lane (6:30PM) and Chris Higbee (8:30PM) will close out the festival along with the traditional firework display at 10PM.

Admission to River Days is free. The Friends of Portsmouth invites the community to bring their families and enjoy the end of summer at the Court Street Landing.

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