STEUBENVILLE - Organizers of the July 3 event at the Hollywood Shopping Center and adjacent Harding Stadium area said Tuesday ticket sales for the Stars & Stripes concert are going well.
"We know we are going to fill the stadium that evening and we are seeing fans buying tickets for the field seats as well as the mid-stadium seating area," said Alex Marshall, chairman of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and publisher of the Herald-Star.
Marshall chaired the Stars & Stripes planning committee meeting Tuesday at Harding Middle School that saw organizers finalizing details for the festival that will start at noon on July 3 with the presentation of colors and a prayer service on the Harding Field track.
PLANNING AN EVENT — Members of the Stars & Stripes concert planning committee are meeting weekly to finalize details of the July 3 concert at the Harding Stadium and events planned for the practice football field and Hollywood Shopping Center. Discussing the concert were, from left, Judy Vavrek of WEIR-AM and WCDK-FM, Kristin Cantrell of WOGH-FM and Tricia Maple of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. — Dave Gossett
"We have a variety of events planned throughout the holiday weekend in Steubenville. The Steubenville Striders will hold a track meet at the Harding track on July 2. Our annual senior citizens luncheon will start at noon at the JFK Apartment complex followed by bingo. Free swimming will be available starting at noon at the Belleview Park pool. And the Stars & Strips Prayer service will be conducted at noon on the track by the Faith in the Future organization and the Steubenville Council of Churches," explained Steubenville Mayor Domenick Mucci.
The main event of the festivities will come later that day when the Stars & Stripes concert in Harding Stadium features Little Big Town, Josh Thompson and Joe Zelek.
Little Big Town, which has sold more than 1.5 million records and garnered three Grammy nominations, will headline the concert portion of the event.
Zelek of Mount Pleasant will open the show when he takes the stage at 5 p.m. Zelek is a regular at the Jamboree in the Hills and wrote the theme song for the annual event in Belmont County.
Thompson, a rising star on the country scene, will follow Zelek. His popularity is growing thanks to his current hit "Won't Be Lonely Long." He also is know for his hit "Way Out There." Little Big Town will hit the stage at 8 p.m.
"We have been working with the production staff to make sure every thing we need to do is covered. Representatives of Media Production Entertainment of Huntington, W.Va., met with Mike McVey and Mike Bauman of Steubenville City Schools who gave the production staff a tour of the stadium facilities," said John Cucarese, a member of the event planning committee.
"We have made plans for two large generators to be placed under the visitors stands to provide power for the concert. And we are organizing help to build the concert stage and then tear it down after the event," added Cucarese.
City Manager Cathy Davison said the city police will have an additional seven officers on duty to provide traffic control.
Fire Chief Terry English said Building Official Anthony Bodo will be available to inspect the stage facility and seating arrangement.
"We have started promoting the show on radio, television and the newspapers. And WOGH-FM will be conducting a contest to find someone to sing the 'Star-Spangled Banner' before the concert," explained Kristin Cantrell.
"We usually see two bursts of activities prior to an event. The second burst will come the day of the concert when people decide to spend the evening at the stadium," she added.
Mucci said the fireworks extravaganza by Zambelli Fireworks of New Castle, Pa. will start at 9:45 p.m.
And Judy Vavrek of WEIR-AM and WCDK-FM noted her radio station will coordinate special music for the fireworks show to be played over the air and through the stadium public address system.
"Tickets for the concert and stadium seating for the fireworks show are available at all Kwik King stores, the Chamber of Commerce offices and through tix.com," remarked Tricia Maple.
Sue Hershey, chamber president, said VIP ticket packages are also available, "that will include reserved parking, entrance to the VIP tent and special field seats for the concert."
"I'm also very pleased to see the number of corporate sponsors are growing. There is a great deal of pride and interest in this event," added Hershey.
Additional activities on July 3 include a car show in the Harding Stadium parking lot, a family fun zone at the Harding practice field, karaoke and various concessions," said Hershey.