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Come Fourth: Ripley ready for Independence Day festivities | News, Sports, Jobs

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Ally Nicholson is a Ripley native who returns home as she works with Gambill Amusements to organize the carnival for the 4th of July celebration. The carnival will take place near the town hall until Saturday. (Photo by Candice Black)

RIPLEY – Ripley’s reputation for “Independence Day Celebration of America’s Biggest Small Town” will live on as the country’s birthday celebrations begin today and continue through Monday.

The tradition of a 4th of July celebration dates back to the late 1800s, and according to the Ripley Fourth of July website, it is the oldest Independence Day parade and celebration in West Virginia.

From today, carnival rides and games via Gambill Amusements will be set up near the town hall in the city center and will run until Saturday.

Originally from Ripley, Ally Nicholson works for Gambill and said she was thrilled to be able to work at the event she has attended all her life.

“I am here as a client every year of my life and I started (working) at the beginning of June” she said.

A smaller Independence Day event was held last year with drive-through concerts, a televised parade and a drive-through fireworks show.

“This year we are going to get as close to normal as possible,” he added. Ripley Mayor Carolyn Rader said.

The traditional and historic parade will feature a special guest, Hershey “Wooded” Williams, as Grand Marshal.

From pancakes and parades to bike parades and concerts, this weekend’s events offer a variety of choices. With the number of events going on, Rader said the community has helped make this possible.

“As long as there’s air to breathe I think Ripley will be the biggest (4th of July celebration)”, Rader said. “We have to depend on generous local sponsors and people to help us achieve this. We want to be known as one of the most patriotic cities in America, this is one of the biggest titles you can give. The people of Ripley are really wonderful and they support everything we do.

Concerts will take place on the lawn of the courthouse.

Candice Black can be contacted at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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The program of events includes:

TODAY

* 8 p.m .: Charleston Metro Band

WEDNESDAY

* 6 p.m .: Bluegrass Gospel Evening

THURSDAY

* 6 p.m .: Patriots on Wheels bike parade on North Street

* 6.30 p.m .: Rimshot

* 8 p.m .: Adam Tucker, tribute to Tim McGraw

FRIDAY

* 6 p.m .: Meeting of all classes at Ripley High School

Saturday:

* 7h00: Pancake lunch at the United Methodist Church of Calvary (by donation)

* 9 am: Hour of the Little Patriots

* 10 a.m .: Opening ceremony

* 11:30 am: 2 mile firecracker race

* Noon: Grand Parade

* 2 p.m .: Line dance

* 4 p.m .: Ultrasound

* 6 p.m .: Chemin Rockland

* 8 p.m .: Dave & Daphné

* 10 p.m .: Fireworks

SUNDAY

* 6.30 p.m .: Rhett Walker – 6.30 p.m.

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