STEUBENVILLE - Mayor Domenick Mucci believes in the power of positive thinking. And he is fairly positive the weather will be perfect for the Fourth of July activities planned for Friday at the city marina and the fireworks display scheduled for 10 p.m. that day.
The mayor didn't even want to talk about the possibility of rain canceling the final fireworks display from the Fort Steuben Bridge.
"I don't think weather will stop us but just in case it does rain, I will make a decision late Friday on delaying the fireworks show until Saturday. But that has only happened twice in my 16 years as mayor," said Mucci.
FINAL PREPARATIONS — Shirley DiCarlontonio of Mayor Domenick Mucci’s office was busy checking door prizes to be awarded Friday at the Fourth of July senior citizens luncheon at the JFK Apartments in Steubenville. The luncheon is set for noon. Other Fourth of July activities in the city include free swimming at Belleview Park and family events at the city marina.
"We have six food vendors signed up for that day including Wal-Mart, Davis Food Express, Dippin' Dots Ice Cream, Kirlan Concessions, Boss Bison Ranch and the Four Seasons Cafe. We hope to have a very good crowd that day and it will be an historical event because most likely this will be the final year for the fireworks extravaganza from the Fort Steuben Bridge," Mucci said.
The Ohio Department of Transportation has announced plans to close and demolish the bridge next year.
Mucci said the July 4 celebration will include a morning prayer service organized by Faith in the Future and the Steubenville Council of Churches.
"We will also have our annual senior citizens luncheon at the JFK Apartments and the activities at the marina will start at noon," said Mucci.
Organizer Bob Hines said the entertainment will start at 12:15 p.m. with a performance by Toni Voltz.
"We also have Kenny Wells back this year and will have shows by the Toys, the Fossils and Mahajibee Blues," added Hines.
Mucci noted two inflatable youth games will be at the marina from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
"We are inviting all area residents to bring lawn chairs, beach towels and coolers to the marina to relax that day and enjoy some great food, great entertainment and good friendship as we celebrate our nation's birthday," Mucci stated.
Committee volunteer Buster Bowman said the Independence Day celebration will conclude with a "Salute to Military Veterans" and an historical show highlighting the Fort Steuben Bridge starting at 9:30 p.m.
"Our employees have been preparing for parking at Belleview Park that day and the Steel Valley Regional Transit Authority will be operating shuttle buses from the park to the marina throughout the day and evening. People looking for a shuttle ride can catch the bus in front of Twine's at the park entrance," said Recreation Director Dwan Johnson.
"At 10 p.m. the fireworks extravaganza in conjunction with the city of Weirton will start for the final time from the Fort Steuben Bridge, and it will be a spectacular show this year," Mucci predicted.
He noted spectators can gather at the marina on the Ohio side of the river, and Weirton officials said parking for the fireworks will be available near Freedom Way.
Spectator seating and parking will be located at the north end of Freedom Way and volunteers will be available to assist with parking.
According to Weirton Police Chief Bruce Marshall, the possession or use of illegal fireworks is prohibited. He also stated no open containers of alcohol will be permitted at the fireworks viewing area. He noted officers will be on patrol throughout the event to regulations concerning alcohol and fireworks use.
"We're just looking out for everyone's safety," he said.
"We want everyone to have fun, but not if people are going to get hurt."
Weirton City Manager Gary DuFour reported Weirton and Steubenville have hosted the joint fireworks display for several years and, "the public response to the show has been very positive."
"People really like to have them over the water. Having the joint display has worked really well for us and brings forward a sense of community on both sides of the river," DuFour said.
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