FOLLANSBEE - Over the years Follansbee Community Days has provided the stage for many nationally, regionally and locally known musicians, at no cost to festival-goers; and an opportunity for local organizations to raise money through the sale of food and crafts.
And this year will be no different, according to the festival's organizers, including chairman Nina Meca.
The festival will be kicked off with a community prayer breakfast at 9 a.m. today at the Follansbee Park Community House. Admission is $5.
Almost as popular as the festival itself is a kickoff event held each year at Follansbee Park and featuring free hot dogs, games and live music.
The kickoff will be held July 3, with music by Capitol Music Hall regular Ron Retzer at 1 p.m. and Hot Pursuit, a Wheeling band that plays a variety of music, at 3:45 p.m.
The annual Follansbee Community Days Dinner, to be held Wednesday, has allowed city officials and the festival's committee to recognize active community members and Follansbee natives who have gone on to success in various fields.
Appetizers will be served at 5 p.m., with dinner to begin at 6 p.m.
Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased at the Follansbee City Building. No tickets will be sold at the door.
From July 8-10, a variety of food, craft and other vendors will line Virginia Avenue and an assortment of live entertainers will perform at the Raymond Stoaks Plaza by the Follansbee City Building.
Friday's musical lineup includes dance band Twice as Nice at 6:45 p.m. and the Golden Voices of Rock and Roll, featuring Dennis Tufano of the Buckinghams and Sonny Geraci of the Outsiders and Climax, at 8:30 p.m.
The entertainment on July 9 includes oldies band Band of Gold at 5 p.m., swing band Doctor Zoot at 7 p.m. and at 8:30 p.m., The Happenings, which had hits with "See You in September" and "I've Got Rhythm" in the 1960s.
On July 10 music will be provided by the Igniters at 5 p.m., Bobby Lewis at 7 p.m. and the Contours at 9 p.m., followed by fireworks after 10:30 p.m.
The Igniters had a regional hit in the 1960s with "High Flying Wine," and its lead singer, Frank Czuri has performed with the Jaggerz and in its earlier days, Diamond Rio.
Bobby Lewis is best known for the '60s hit, "Tossin' and Turnin'," and the Contours recorded the hit "Do You Love Me" for Motown in the '60s.
The three-day festival also will include the annual Follansbee Community Days Parade at 1 p.m. July 9 and a classic car show on July 10, with registration at 10 a.m.
This year the BrrrBank Ice Cream Parlor and Hot Dog Shoppe has added a hot dog-eating contest to the festival. The competition will begin at 4 p.m. July 9 and include cash prizes, with all participants receiving T-shirts.
Participants must be 18 and older, and registration forms may be obtained at BrrrBank and Stuff With Attitude locations in Follansbee and Weirton until Wednesday.