RIPLEY, W.Va. — Called America’s Largest Small Town Independence Day Celebration, the city of Ripley is set for another year of 4th of July festivities.
The multi-day event, which dates back to the late 1800s, got underway on Tuesday with the meat of the celebration occurring on Thursday and into the weekend.
“The town is all decorated in the red, white and blue,” Ripley Mayor Carolyn Rader said. “People are really proudly displaying their America flags with ole glory everywhere. It’s just going to be really nice, everybody is pitching in.”
On Wednesday there is a Unity In The Community event at 6 p.m. at the Jackson County Courthouse Lawn while a Bicycle Parade takes place at 7 p.m.
On July 4, which falls on a Thursday this year, activities get underway at 9 in the morning and last until 10 p.m. with fireworks.
In the middle of the day on the 4th is a grand parade which, Rader said had around 264 entries.
Events go into the weekend will a full-slate on Saturday with more music and an ice cream social.
“We have something for all ages,” Rader said. “The best part about this is everything free except the food that you buy from our local vendors and the carnival.”
The carnival costs $20 but lasts for five hours and admission will give children unlimited access to the rides. All proceeds for the carnival goes toward the Ripley Volunteer Fire Department.
Rader said the carnival is within two streets of the music and main events at the courthouse.
When asked what her favorite event was, Rader could not decide.
“I love them all. I just love walking down the street. It’s just fun and it is fun to see because you can just cut the excitement in the air.”
Rader is one of five committee members that plan the celebration. She said that she has a long history with this event that includes working it while she was a kid and being there when President George W. Bush stopped in.
She said Ripley takes so much pride in being the host to crowds expected to triple the town’s actual population.
“I want people who live here to be proud this is their hometown and then I want people who come to visit to think that they may want to call this place their hometown one day. I want them to come back,” Rader said.
To read more on the event and a schedule, click HERE.