BUCKHANNON – The Fourth of July is a spectacular time of year – the days are long and sunny, swimming pools beckon, beaches smell of pineapple and coconut, children celebrate having time away from school, and the watermelon is sweet and delicious, as are many berries fresh-picked from bushes.
Everyone loves to come together for Independence Day, and this year we will wish the United States a Happy 243rd Birthday.
There are many ways people celebrate this important day – dinners, visits, picnics, games, activities, family reunions, music, celebrations close to home and ventures to nearby locations.
My Buckhannon has put together a list of places to watch fantastic firework displays and celebrate with fun activities in Upshur and the surrounding counties for those who want to venture out of the area. If you travel, remember to use caution during this heavily-traveled holiday.
Buckhannon will celebrate the Fourth of July holiday in conjunction with Festival Fridays, on Friday, July 5, at Jawbone Park. The gathering will feature live music, special performances and fun activities that will culminate in a spectacular fireworks display sponsored by the City of Buckhannon.
Laura Meadows, executive director of the Upshur County CVB, said the Festival Friday events, which run all summer long, offer fun for those of all ages.
“The City of Buckhannon coordinates the fireworks and Fourth of July activities,” Meadows said. “In past years, the city has really pulled out the works and had things like bounce houses, tons of kids and family activities including a hot dog eating contest – all of the classic Americana activities.”
Meadows said the highlight will be the fireworks show, beginning at dark.
“The activities are at Jawbone Park, but everyone needs to move a block up to Main Street in Buckhannon to have the optimal viewing site for the fireworks,” she said.
Meadows hopes folks will choose Buckhannon as their July 4th celebration destination.
“Every small town does something similar, but Buckhannon just has this atmosphere – that is what we hear from visitors,” she said. “Whenever people come onto our Main Street or visit Jawbone Park, they just feel that community. So, you get that every day of the year, but on the Fourth of July, it is just amped up that much more and you are instantly welcomed to Buckhannon, whether you are living here or just visiting. It’s just a fun time.”
Philippi is home to many historical landmarks and features lots of places to shop, eat, visit and enjoy. A new item in the county is the Little Miss Fourth of July Pageant, which will take place on June 29 and is sponsored by the Barbour County Fair Association. Additional information is available by calling 304-823-1328.
Each year, folks enjoy a fireworks display sponsored by the Barbour County Commission. This year’s fireworks will be on Friday, July 5 at the Barbour County Fairgrounds beginning at dusk. The gates will open at 5 p.m. The rain date is scheduled for the same place at dusk on July 12.
Just one fireworks show isn’t enough for the folks in Lewis County. Load up the family and head on out to Stonewall Resort for a great Fourth of July celebration, with lakeside fireworks scheduled for both Sunday, June 30 and Sunday, July 7 beginning at approximately 9:45 p.m.
On July 4, 5 and 6, Stonewall Resort will feature fun activities including face painting, an inflatable bounce house, lawn games, guided nature tours, goat kettle corn, snow cones, an ice cream bar, a mimosa cruise, hayrides, a poolside cinema, live entertainment, watermelon eating contests, Frisbee tic-tac-toe, bubble mania, a Hula Hoop contest and water balloon battles. Additional information about these activities is available by calling Stonewall Resort at 304-269-8887.
Elkins will be bumper to bumper with cars for the Fourth of July Mountain State Street Machines Auto Extravaganza on Friday, July 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. The city’s celebration will be held Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. in conjunction with the Downtown Elkins First Friday Event, and everyone is welcome to join in the fun.
On Saturday evening, July 6, the Elkins Randolph County Chamber of Commerce will partner with Davis & Elkins College and Randolph County for a free concert and fireworks show on the campus of D&E. The fun begins at 8 p.m.
The Thomas Volunteer Fire Department will be celebrating their Mountaineer Days July 5-7 with daily activities including a hot dog sale, cakewalk, cornhole tournament, 5K run/2K walk, parade, fireman’s water battle and live entertainment. Additional information about Mountaineer Days is available online at www.thomaswvmtdays.weebly.com.
A spectacular fireworks display is sponsored by the Thomas Volunteer Fire Department on Saturday, July 6 beginning at approximately 9 p.m.
Canaan Valley Resort also sponsors activities during the holiday weekend including Windfest, guided hikes, children’s activities and more. Additional information is available online at http://canaanvalley.org/celebration-of-the-arts.html.
The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra will present the 2019 Celebration of the Arts on Sunday, July 7 at 3 p.m. with culture on the lawn at Canaan Valley Resort State Park ski area. Gates open for this free-of-charge event at 1 p.m. Bring your own lawn chair or blanket and coolers are welcome.