POINT PLEASANT — Maritime festivities at the Riverfront Park in Point Pleasant will take place for an extended amount of time during Labor Day weekend.
The annual Tribute to the River festival, sponsored by the Point Pleasant River Museum and Learning Center, will be held from Aug. 29 – Aug.31.
This year, an extra day of festivities, plus some new activities will be happening. Jack Fowler, Point Pleasant River Museum and Learning Center executive director, shared they had some new members on the planning board for this year in result of the Point Pleasant Sternwheel Festival being dissolved and the Point Pleasant Liberty Fest taking its place for a one-day celebration on Independence Day. They all agreed they should extend the Tribute to the River Festival.
New activities for the festival goers have been added such as horse drawn carriage rides, pony rides and a petting zoo for the children, as well as more scheduled entertainers. In addition, the river front will be filled with Sternwheelers and recreational boats. Fowler estimated there will be about 22 Sternwheelers and the vessels will begin rolling into the Riverfront Park’s dock beginning tomorrow and all should be in by this coming Friday evening. This should be one of the biggest turnouts of boats the festival has ever seen, commented Fowler.
The fireworks show will be an even bigger and better closing event than last year, “exceptional” as Fowler stated. As with last year, patrons have the opportunity to be a sponsor of the fireworks show by purchasing a “boom,” which is one of the rockets of the fireworks show. Each boom costs $25 and people are welcome to purchase as many “booms” as they desire. The sponsor’s name will be announced once during the day and again prior to the shooting of the rockets.
The Tribute to the River festival will kick off on Thursday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Riverfront Park in Point Pleasant with an official welcome by Captain Butch Leport, president of the Point Pleasant River Museum and Learning Center Board of Directors.
The festival is no cost to attend and various concessions will be open around Riverfront Park.
Following the welcome, a DJ will start playing music and festival goers will have a chance to take the mic and sing karaoke should they wish from 7:15 p.m. until 9 p.m.
The festivities continue into the weekend. Friday the evening’s events will kick off with the Tribute to the River Queen’s pageant from 6-8 p.m. After the royalty is chosen, the scheduled Mayor’s Night Out event, sponsored by the City of Point Pleasant, will kick off with performer Karen Allen taking the stage until 9 p.m. when Stephanie Stacy and the Aftermath, sponsored by Country Road Services, will take the stage and close out the evening at 11 p.m.
On Saturday, festivities kick off early with the Captain’s Breakfast at the Point Pleasant Christ Episcopal Church from 8-11 a.m.
The Tribute to the River Junior pageant will be held from 10 a.m.- noon and then from noon-4 p.m., children’s games, pony rides, a petting zoo, and inflatables, sponsored by the Point of Faith Church and Campbell Family Farm, will be open for play.
Registration for the line throwing competition will be from 1-1:45 p.m. with the competition kicking off at 2 p.m. and wrapping up at 4 p.m.
Horse drawn carriage rides, sponsored by Rocky Point Farms, along historic Main Street will be available from 4-8 p.m. A memorial service and the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Point Pleasant River Museum and Learning Center will take place from 5:30-8 p.m.
At 8 p.m., Right Turn Clyde will take the Riverfront amphitheater stage until 11 p.m.
From 9:30-10 p.m., the Point Pleasant River Museum and Learning Center will present its fireworks show.
Fowler shared this is an important year for the Tribute to the River festival as he and his fellow organizers want to see if individuals respond well to these added activities and an extra day of festivities to see if the Tribute to the River can continue to expand.
“I’m hoping we’ll get people there who want to spend time near the riverfront and enjoy the entertainment, looking at the different boats, and the fireworks display,” said Fowler.
For further information on the Tribute to the River or to purchase a boom, contact the river museum at 304-674-0144.
Erin (Perkins) Johnson is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.