4th Annual Ferryboat Festival Hits Sistersville

Final plans are underway in preparation for the fourth annual Ohio River Ferryboat Festival on the Long Reach, which is this coming this weekend, today through Sunday, in Fly and Sistersville, West Virginia.

This unique festival, held annually on the last full weekend of July, involves two states, two counties and two communities, all connected by more than 200 years of continuous ferryboat service on the Long Reach of the Ohio River.

The annual event has become a cultural arts and heritage festival. Under the organization of the Monroe Arts Council, the festival showcases local performers, artisans, history buffs, vendors and re-enactors along both sides of the Ohio River.

For a nominal fee, festival goers enjoy the weekend events in Fly and Sistersville by riding the ferryboat back and forth. Riders have the opportunity to win prizes. All performances and activities are offered free to the public, courtesy of local sponsors. Local artisans, vendors and non-profits will be on hand with information and exhibits as well.

The festival has grown since its inception, breaking attendance records every year. Ferry riders were in excess of 1,200 persons between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday of last year’s festival before operations were curtailed due to extreme flooding. The festival continued throughout the weekend, but without connectivity to both sides.

This year’s festival offers a variety of entertainment from local performers and vocalists on both sides of the river. Festival organizers strive to showcase variety, such as Bluegrass, Gospel, Doo-Wop, Jazz, dance, instrumental and Country Rock, as well as the artistic opportunities offered through Monroe Arts.

A new feature this year includes movies. The Monroe Theatre Committee will be showing “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” free of charge on the waterfront at this year’s festival at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday evening on the Ohio side of the river.

Children can have their pictures taken with the creature at the river’s edge during the day, which they can place in a frame they make at the festival.

The movie “The Iron Giant” will be playing in the Sistersville Park on Friday evening at dark.

Many kid-friendly activities will be offered on both sides of the river all weekend, as well as festival food and snacks.

Bring your favorite chair, come down to the river’s edge and enjoy wholesome entertainment with your neighbors from both sides of the river.

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