Thunder departs for Thunder in the Ville

WINTERSVILLE – The severe rain storm that rolled through the area Friday evening dampened but didn’t stop the 18th annual Thunder in the Ville.

Organizer Tom Straka said the rain and wind caused some havoc Friday but a few minutes later the sun was shining on the event workers.

“We had rain last year. It is something we have to contend with but the show will go on,” cited Straka.

Straka and his wife Tammy Straka helped Earl Tuttle pull his sound equipment out of a water puddle to higher ground.

“I’ll go home and get a hair blower to help you dry your board off,” Tammy told Tuttle.

“I’m going to try the sound equipment on the stage so everyone should avoid touching anything metal,” warned Tuttle.

But the rain and wind didn’t affect his equipment and recorded music was soon playing across the grassy area.

Friends, a non-denominational Christian gospel group met in front of the stage and decided to stay at the Thunder in the Ville to perform for the audience they were waiting for.

Approximately 20 feet away Charlie Green of the Tri-State Marines inspected what was left of a tent that was blown apart by a gust of wind at the height of the storm.

“It is broken in three places so I think it is finished. That wind came through and first our flag went down, then the tent went down. And the chairs were turned over. We are here this weekend to try and recruit new members for the Marine Corps Club,” explained Green.

Paulette McCloud was busy wiping off her serving table where she was prepared to sell hot dogs, sloppy Joes sandwiches, meatball sandwiches and sauerkraut for the hot dogs.

“We got a little wet but our tent stayed up. Everything is hot and ready to go. All of our proceeds go to the Thunder in the Ville event. We may not get a crowd now but we will be back Saturday ready to go again,” McCloud stated.

According to Straka, the Thunder in the Ville will resume at 4 p.m. Saturday with a car cruise-in registration until 6 p.m.

The fifth-annual Street Dreams Rod and Custom Car Show is scheduled during the festival and will begin at 6 p.m. The cruise will feature street rods, classic cars, hot rods, muscle cars and custom cars.

“The Brenda Casey Dancers will be performing from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. At 5:30 p.m. Jefferson County Commissioner Thomas Graham will sing the national anthem for the official opening ceremonies. He will be followed by Monsignor Kurt Kemo who will do the prayer and then remarks by Wintersville Mayor Bob Gale,” related Straka.

“Easy Street will be on stage starting at 6:30 p.m. and Paul Roe will be performing at 8:40 p.m. The New Silver Eagle Band will take the stage at 9:30 p.m. They will stop at 10 p.m. for the spectacular Thunder in the Ville fireworks show by American Fireworks. And after the fireworks show the New Silver Eagle Band will be back on stage,” said Straka.

“We will also be holding a hula hoop contest and well as a limbo competition,” added Straka.

” We hope everyone comes out to support the event this year. A lot of hard work and time goes into planning this event and we would like to see a large crowd again. The fireworks are bigger and better each year. Come out to the village and celebrate the Fourth of July early,” he said.