Soak up summer fun with local events

American flag with fireworks. Vector

Summer has unofficially arrived and is in full-swing with a variety of local events for all ages. Winter might have felt long and cold, but the warm, sunshiny days are here at last. While many folks take a summer vacation, there are plenty of community events to look forward to as well.

From family fun to fireworks and concerts, summer 2019 is shaping up to be a great one. With so many great activities on tap, it is certainly possible to soak up summer fun while not breaking the bank as the majority of events are either low-cost or free.

This weekend already boasts an action-packed schedule. In Point Pleasant, W.Va., Bikes, BBQ, & Bluegrass will take place Saturday, June 8. The event features bicycle tour rides of varying distances that traverse roads in Point Pleasant and Mason County as well as a BBQ competition. The BBQ competition will begin at noon on Main Street. Prize money will be awarded to winners. For more information on how to register for the competition, check out www.bikepointpleasant.org. In addition, bluegrass music will take center stage at the Point Pleasant Riverfront Park at 7 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will take place at the Point Pleasant Junior Senior High School Auditorium. For more information and to sign up for the bike rides, visit www.tristateracer.com.

Also taking place in Point Pleasant this weekend is the return of the Mayor’s Night Out concert series. The first concert is set for 8 p.m. Friday, June 7 at Riverfront Park. Concerts will take place every Friday through Aug. 30 at 8 p.m., with the exception of Friday, July 5 and Friday, Aug. 9. The concert line-up will feature various music styles, including rock, blues, country, folk, gospel, and current hits.

In Gallipolis, Ohio, the Cruise In & Car Show is set for Saturday, June 8 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The event will take place at SFS Truck Sales, located at 2150 Eastern Ave. The show will feature a variety of classic cars on display.

Also in Gallipolis, the Hot Summer Nights concert series already kicked off and will continue through September. Concerts take place 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Pavilion, located on the grounds of the French Art Colony. The gates will open at 6 p.m. Admission is $5 per person or free to French Art Colony members. For a full schedule of performances, call 740-446-3834 or visit http://www.frenchartcolony.org.

In Huntington, W.Va., the Pullman Square Summer Concert Series provides another opportunity to relax with some fun tunes. The first concerts are held on the front lawn of Pullman. The first concert kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. Additional concerts are set for June 13, June 20, June 27, July 11, July 18, July 25, Aug. 1, Aug. 8, Aug. 15, Aug. 22 and Aug. 29. All concerts are free and guests are encouraged to bring their own blankets and camp chairs.

Saturday KidsArt will also take place in Huntington on Saturday, June 8 from 1-3 p.m. at the Huntington Museum of Art. The event is free. Younger children must be accompanied by a guardian. For more information, call 304-529-2701.

In Pomeroy, Ohio, the 10th anniversary event of the Kickin’ Summer Bash will take place June 14-15 at the Levee. The event will feature a variety of activities and entertainment, including a Cruise in Car Show on Friday, June 14. Rockin’ Reggie music also will take place from 4-7 p.m. On Saturday, June 15 many kids’ activities are scheduled, including face painting, a treasure hunt and a scavenger hunt. There will be bounce houses as well. All of the kids’ activities are free. For more information, check out the Kickin’ Summer Bash Facebook page.

On June 28-29, history will come to life with Liberty Days. The event will take place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Point Pleasant’s Fort Randolph, located within Krodel Park. Typically, Fort Randolph events showcase period demonstrations featuring historical reenactors.

July will kick off in patriotic fashion with several Independence Day events. The 54th Annual Gallipolis River Recreation Festival will take place July 3-4 at the City Park.  On Wednesday, July 3 the opening ceremony is set for noon, however gospel music and kids’ inflatables open at 10 a.m. KidZone Activities will also take place from 2-6 p.m. Thursday’s July 4 schedule kicks off with the Baby Tot Sparkler Contest as well as the Rubber Ducky Race on the Riverfront at 9 a.m. The 66th Annual Gallipolis Rotary Mile will take place at 11:30 a.m. with the parade to follow at noon. Fireworks will wrap up festivities at 10 p.m.

In Point Pleasant, the Inaugural Liberty Fest will celebrate Independence Day. The event will feature a variety of activities, including a patriotic parade at 5:30 p.m. on Main St. Activities continue on Main St. and Riverfront Park from 6-10 p.m., with fireworks set to close out the evening. Mason and New Haven, W.Va. have Independence Day entertainment on tap as well, including the Fourth of July Parade, which is slated for 11 a.m. in New Haven.

Jackson, Ohio’s Freedom Festival is once again on tap for Independence Day. While a full schedule of events wasn’t provided as of press time, the event’s 23rd Annual Jackson County Freedom Festival 5K Run and Walk is now open for registration at http://www.tristateracer.com. The event will take place 9 a.m. at Manpower Park.

For more information regarding your community’s Fourth of July events, please contact your local chamber or council.

You won’t want to miss Rhythm on the River, slated for July 5, 12 and 19 in Pomeroy. The event is celebrating its 20th year and will once again showcase free live music at the Riverfront. The Big Bend Blues Bash also will take place in Pomeroy July 26-27. A full schedule of performers will be released later this summer.

The 2nd 5K Ruck Walk/Run, sponsored by OVB, will take place 9 a.m. Saturday, July 6 at the Haskins Park Shelter. Online registration is encouraged and can be done via runsignup.com/Race/OH/Gallipolis/TheOhioValleyBank5KRuckWalk. Same day registration will take place at 8 a.m. prior to the race. Participants are encouraged to bring a ruck sack to commemorate soldiers who carry a physical or emotional burden daily. Event proceeds will benefit local VA clinics.

Other ways to seek out summer fun locally includes visiting area museums, parks and libraries. The Bossard Memorial Library in Gallipolis, for example, boasts a jam-packed schedule of children’s programs this summer. The library also hosts many events for adults. Continue to check with your local chamber our tourism center to see if any other events are taking place in your community.

In addition to the various festivals, many of our area’s fairs are scheduled to take place this summer. The fairs are a great way to enjoy music and rides as well as support our area 4-H youth. Check back soon for more information on upcoming area fairs.

Have a safe and happy summer!