Show your patriotism in style this year.
July Fourth comes just once a year, and celebrating our nation’s birthday is something you don’t want to miss. Morgantown’s usual music and fireworks won’t take place on the river this year because of the renovations in progress at Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park—but there are plenty of festivities in town and close by to help you get patriotic.
In town, the annual Celebration of America parade is on as always—that’s scheduled for 6 p.m. on High Street, with free music on the courthouse square from 5 to 6. To continue the All-American fun, head up to the Monongalia County Ballpark. Two local American Legion baseball teams—Morgantown Post 2 and Bridgeport Post 68—will play an exhibition game. Stay to see the biggest and most exciting fireworks display ever put on at Monongalia County Ballpark, produced by Zambelli Fireworks. The game starts at 7; tickets available online.
For a more historic experience, head to Prickett’s Fort at noon on the Fourth for a reading of the Declaration of Independence. The reading will be accompanied by period-appropriate patriotic drum and fife music. U.S. Veterans and active military get in for half price.
Fairmont’s Palatine Park hosts a grand annual Independence Day celebration. This year it starts with Real Shoot Wrestling at 4 p.m. followed by live music from Trial By Fire at 6 and Rissi Palmer at 8:30. The fireworks show over the Monongahela River will begin at 10 p.m., and the whole event is free to attend.
If you like the northern panhandle, Wheeling’s Heritage Port has a lively July Fourth celebration loaded with craft and food vendors, music from the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, and, of course, fireworks. Vendors start selling at 4 p.m., with the symphony at 7:30 and the fireworks a little past dusk. You won’t want to miss the lights on the Ohio River from the historic suspension bridge paired with fireworks lighting up the sky
Last but not least is a West Virginia town that makes July Fourth celebrations into an art form. Ripley, a couple hours’ drive southwest of Morgantown, hosts what has been called “America’s largest small-town Independence Day celebration.” This daylong event dates back to the 1800s and is the oldest parade and Independence Day celebration in the state. The celebration spans seven days of family activities and a grand parade like no other. The event is free to enter and has a carnival, live musical entertainment, and many food vendors. Past attendees include astronauts Jon McBride and John Irwin and President George W. Bush.
Whatever you decide to do this Independence Day, Happy Fourth!
featured image by Aaron Burden