It's the countdown to the Fourth of July holiday, and area residents can begin their celebration at this year's Thunder in the Ville festival in Wintersville.
The festival will run Friday and Saturday and will help open a week of celebrations throughout the Tri-State Area that will honor our nation's independence.
Treasure Island Marketplace, located behind Riesbeck's Food Market on the village's Main Street, will be the location of the event, with activities set to get under way at 6 p.m. Friday. Mayor Bob Gale will offer a speech, and Heaven Bound and the Silver Eagle Band will perform that evening.
Events will continue Saturday, and the lineup will include a cornhole tournament with prizes to be awarded, train rides for children and more entertainment, including the band Hot Pursuit.
A spectacular fireworks display is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., and officials have said this year's presentation by American Fireworks is expected to be bigger than in past years.
Vendors and crafters will have displays set up through the two days, with handmade jewelry, candles, toys and other items available. Other activities include the fourth-annual Street Dreams Rod and Custom Car Show, with registration from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday. The cruise begins at 6 p.m. and will feature street rods, classic cars, hot rods, muscle cars and custom cars.
Festival-goers also can enjoy some of our area's finest fair food, including hot dogs, ice cream, steak hoagies and sloppy joes.
Chairmen Tom and Tammy Straka and a committee of dedicated volunteers continue to work hard to ensure that Thunder in the Ville maintains its spot as one of the area's top festivals and fireworks shows.
We hope area residents will take advantage of the chance to celebrate our nation's birthday a week early.