WELLSBURG - Wellsburg's celebration of Independence Day is an occasion that seems to grow a bit every year.
This year's festivities will begin Sunday and include concerts or activities each day up to July 4.
Todd Richie, who chairs the event with help from Debbie Baker, Barbara Yoder and many others, said the events would not be possible if not for the hard work of his committee members, the sponsorship of many local businesses and support of the city.
Events on Sunday will include a Guitar Heroes contest at 2 p.m. at the Betty Carr Recreation Site and a concert of Christian music by singer-keyboardist Marvin Whiteman from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Central Park at Charles and 17th streets.
Registration for the contest will be at 1:30 p.m.
Other free concerts slated for the week are Karmarang on Monday, Hot Pursuit on Tuesday, Twice As Nice on Wednesday, 40 Plus on Thursday, I4NI on Friday, Cross Creek the Band on July 2 and Refugee on July 3. All will be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Central Park.
There also will be a three-on-three basketball tournament for ages 19 and under at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Betty Carr Recreation Site. To pre-register, call accountant Steve Marino, the event's sponsor and coordinator, at (304) 737-3690.
A patriotic-themed bingo, for ages 18 and up, will be held Thursday by the Wellsburg Fire Department. Doors at the fire hall will open at 5:30 p.m., with early bird bingo at 6:30 p.m. and regular bingo at 7 p.m. There will be door prizes, magic numbers and food.
Activities on July 2 include a fishing tournament from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the 12th Street boat ramp; a community yard sale organized by the Wellsburg Garden Club from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at various homes and businesses; the Wellsburg Baseball Association's city championship at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the Betty Carr Recreation Site; Pier 12's annual volleyball tournament at noon (with registration at 11 a.m.) at the restaurant; and the Wellsburg All-American Idol singing contest for all ages at 2 p.m. at Central Park.
Participants in the singing contest should register at 1:30 p.m. and bring their own music. Winners will be invited to perform before the city's fireworks display at 9 p.m. July 4.
Festivities on July 3 include a community picnic from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Betty Carr Recreation Site, a horseshoe tournament at 2 p.m. (with registration at 1 p.m.) and the popular Anything That Floats Race at 1 p.m. at the 12th Street boat ramp.
Registration will begin at noon for the race, for which area residents have created a variety of watercraft using assorted unorthodox items. Rules and registration forms can be found at the Wellsburg 4th of July Committee's website at www.wellsburg4thofjuly.com.
July 4 festivities will begin early and continue late into the day. A flag raising ceremony, with comments from local leaders on the nation's birthday, will be held at 8:30 a.m. at the Wellsburg Town Square.
It will be followed by the Wendy's 5K Run-Walk at 9 a.m. at the square. Registration will begin at 8 a.m., with top adult male and female runners and walkers in various age groups to be announced at 11 a.m.
The cost to participate is $10 on that day and $8 before July 1. A registration form and details can be found at the website.
There will be free games for children at 1 p.m. at the Betty Carr Recreation Site and a bicycle-decorating contest held by the Wellsburg Kiwanis Club at 6 p.m. on the town square.
Winners of the contest are invited to participate in the Fourth of July parade, which will line up at 6 p.m. and begin at 7 p.m.
Serving as parade marshal is Gene Camilletti, a Wellsburg man who has been involved in many civic causes, including the collection of information about Brooke County veterans for the Brooke County Veterans Memorial Park.
Following the parade, disc jockey Jack Carbasho and winners of the Wellsburg All-American Idol contest will entertain those turning out for the fireworks display, which is set to begin at about 9:30 p.m.
(Scott can be contacted at email@example.com.)