Battle of Bands to show off marina

Steubenville’s marina has been in the news a lot this summer.

It took several weeks and much discussion, for example, before members of City Council decided that $100,000 in state grant money would indeed be used for its intended purpose — to extend a water line to the marina. That decision was a good first step in opening that area up for future development.

That’s encouraging, as is the use the facility that sits along the Ohio River gets in spite of not having adequate water and sewer facilities. Area residents can be seen at the marina every day and into the evening. Whether they are there to just enjoy the view and spend a summer day watching activity on the river, launching a boat into the river or just doing a little fishing, there’s already a lot to do there.

Expect even more activity beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, when the Battle of the Bands is held at the marina. The inaugural event will feature the Steubenville and Catholic Central high school bands facing off in an event that will raise money for both schools.

Organizers explained that the bands will take turns playing, and those in attendance will then vote to decide an overall winner of the competition. Voting will be done through cash collected after each band plays, with $1 equaling one vote. And, while bragging rights will be determined, when the competition ends, the bands will split all of the money that is collected.

Band boosters also will be on hand to sell school-related items.

It’s expected the event will grow in the coming years, with many other area schools joining in the friendly competition, which, this year, is the third event in the city’s Meet Me at the Marina for … presentations that have included a free fishing event in May and the inaugural Paddlefest in June.

Granted, there’s a lot of work needed to upgrade the marina, work that will require a lot of money from many different sources and the commitment from city leaders to proceed with the improvements.

However, events like those held earlier this summer — and Saturday’s Battle of the Bands — help to show the possibilities of what the future could hold, and the potential the marina has as a recreation site and a location that could help spur economic development in the city.