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Follansbee shines with annual event

One of the most-anticipated events in our region will get under way Friday when the annual community days celebration opens in Follansbee.

For more than a quarter of a century, Follansbee Community Days has featured a wide range of entertainment, food and games which have been organized to ensure plenty of fun and camaraderie.

This year’s event, which will be centered on the parking lot of the Follansbee Community House next to Follansbee Park, will offer more of the same. There’s something for people of all ages — including craft and food vendors, local artists displaying their works and plenty of activities for children.

A focal point is the entertainment, which this year includes Twice as Nice and the Jersey Beach Boys on Friday; the Fantasy’s and the Skyliners on Saturday; and the Fabulous Gemtones and the British Legends Tribute Sunday.

On Saturday, the festival’s annual parade will begin at 1 p.m. and follow its traditional route down Main Street, with Gabriel Arlia serving as the grand marshal. Arlia came to the U.S. from Italy in 1936 and served from 1946 to 1949 in the Marine Corps and for 28 years in the Marine Corps Reserve, retiring as a master gunnery sergeant.

Sunday’s events include the Howard “Howdy” Verner Car and Motorcycle Show at Lyle’s Auto. The event’s best in show award will be presented in memory of Anthony “Butch” Rotellini, who stepped in to organize the show after Verner died. Rotellini died April 7 at the age of 73. And, of course, the fireworks show is planned for around 10 p.m.

This weekend’s events are the continuation of a celebration that really began on June 29, when the annual kick-off dinner was held at the St. Francis Center. Receiving honors that night were Arlia, Judy Raveaux, Raymond Prantil, Mary Santilli-Kimberland and James Rosso.

Organizers of the event, including this year’s co-chairs, Tom Ludewig and Nina Meca, work hard each year to present a showcase they are confident allows residents of the region experience what makes Follansbee a special place. We encourage area residents to see that for themselves by visiting the annual community days.

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