Skies Will Light Up Over Valley

This weekend will be a busy one in the Upper Ohio Valley, as a number of events are scheduled to celebrate Independence Day.

Kicking off the weekend’s festivities is the monthly First Friday’s celebration in downtown Wheeling. The event is intended to encourage residents and visitors to explore downtown Wheeling and support local businesses. The event will run from 4:30-10:30 p.m. Friday.

The celebration continues Saturday as a car show is scheduled at Wheeling’s Heritage Port to benefit the Wheeling Waterfront Wednesdays concert series. Registration is $5 and the first 100 entrants will receive dash plaques.

Oglebay Park will kick off its Independence Day celebration Saturday with events beginning at 9 a.m. In addition to offering discounted rates on pony and trail rides at the stables from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the park will offer a number of activities, including animal enrichment programs at the Good Zoo from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and inflatable rides at Schenk Lake from 1-5 p.m.

John Denver tribute artist John Adams will take the stage at Schenk Lake at 6:30 p.m. until the patriotic fountain show and fireworks display, which will begin around 9:15 p.m.

On Sunday, the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra will kick off the Independence Day celebration at Wheeling’s Heritage Port with a free concert at 7:30 p.m. The fireworks display will begin at dusk. At the same time, The Streamline Band will perform at the Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater at Oglebay Park from 7-9 p.m.

Wheeling, however, isn’t the only community holding events in honor of Independence Day. The city of Follansbee will hold a Picnic in the Park Saturday in the city park. Entertainment will be provided by Ron Retzer from 1-3 p.m. and Mansfield Five from 4:45-6:30 p.m.

Also holding a picnic Saturday is the city of Wellsburg, which will host its Fourth of July event at the Betty Carr Recreational Site from 2-4 p.m. The city’s Fourth of July parade will begin Sunday at 7 p.m. in the downtown area, with fireworks beginning at 9:30 p.m. at the Berry Carr Recreational Site.

Weirton will also hold an Independence Day parade Saturday at 10 a.m. prior to the start of the Renaissance Weirton Festival, which runs from noon-9 p.m. A fireworks display will commence at 10 p.m. at Weir High School.

The village of Bethlehem will hold its annual Independence Day celebration beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday in the village park. Fireworks will begin at dusk.