6:00: Morning News

A Powerless Holiday For Some

It’s about the red, white and blue.

Independence Day was still celebrated throughout West Virginia on Wednesday even with power service still out for hundreds of thousands of people.

"Everybody just seems to put their troubles aside, at least for a day, and enjoy the community and enjoy each other," Ripley 4th of July Celebration Amy McGinley said of the event in Jackson County.

Every year, July 4th is marked in Ripley with a day of events, including fireworks and a parade.  McGinley says it’s a tradition that dates back to the 1800s. 

"It’s a homecoming for a lot of people," McGinley said on Wednesday. 

"Even though we’re dealing with power outages and people are struggling to stay cool and to get by, people will come together and enjoy the day and it’s just a reminder of what our community is."

Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Woody Williams was in Ripley for Independence Day for what is called the largest small town 4th of July Celebration in the United States.

In Monroe County, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin was scheduled to be part of the Alderson 4th of July Celebration.

On Wednesday, about 18% of Appalachian Power’s customers in Monroe County did not have power for the holiday.

Holiday train rides were happening Wednesday at Cass Scenic Railroad in Pocahontas County.  There were also July 4th events in Fairmont, Lincoln, Blennerhassett Island and many other sites. 

Fireworks were set off in the Capitol City on Tuesday night for Charleston’s Freedom and Independence Celebration.  It included a performance from the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

The Mountain State Art & Craft Fair in Jackson County usually coincides with July 4th.

However, because of the way the calendar is set up this year, the event billed as "West Virginia’s Oldest Heritage Fair" will open on Thursday and run through Saturday at Cedar Lakes Conference Center.

More than 100 artisans will be part of the event that is now in its 100th year.  Some had to make some adjustments to their offerings because of the widespread power outages.

Altogether, more 300,000 homes and businesses in West Virginia did not have power at the start of the day Wednesday, five days after the destructive derecho.

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