Wild, wonderful fun on the Fourth


West Virginia’s rich with hometown pride, and we sure know how to celebrate our nation’s birthday!

From small-town picnics and parades to fireworks, July 4 in the Mountain State is full of fun and excitement:

1. Ripley 4th of July Celebration

Known as the Largest Small Town Independence Day Celebration in America, the Ripley 4th of July Celebration dates back to the late 1800s, making it the oldest parade and oldest Independence Day celebration in West Virginia.

The town bursts into full red, white and blue spirit for the Grand Parade and live music from the stage on the Jackson County Courthouse lawn. There is also a carnival and plenty of food!
This year’s theme is “Ripley Believes in America” and the 7-day celebration kicks off June 28.

2. Wellsburg 4th of July

Wellsburg 4th of July lasts 10 fun-packed days! It kicks off June 25 with friendly competitions and activitites like horseshoes, fishing, corn hole, volleyball, bike decorating,a 5K run/walk, a town picnic, bingo, a community yard sale, parade and fireworks.

They’ve brought back the legendary Oil Can Derby after a 40-year hiatus, too. Build your own car and compete for prizes. The race got its name from oil cans produced by Eagle Manufacturing, the local industry that was a major sponsor when the race first started in 1946.

3. Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta

This 3-day weekend includes a parade, beauty pageants for all age groups and free concerts featuring up-and-coming Nashville acts, tribute bands and local artists on the RiverFront Park stage.

4. Old-Fashioned 4th of July in Mannington

In Mannington, you get double the dazzling displays of color in the sky. The town also releases sky lanterns at dusk. These miniature hot-air balloons are the perfect preview to the fireworks that follow. Live music, carnival games and inflatables for the kids make this celebration fun for the whole family.

5. Windfest & 4th of July in Canaan Valley

Head to the mountains of Tucker County to celebrate our nation with a wind festival, complete with jumbo kite demonstrations, workshops and more. After the kites, the skies fill with fireworks in Thomas on July 2.

The next day, bring your lawn chairs and blankets to the tube park at Canaan Valley Resort State Park for a free afternoon concert featuring The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. The Red, White and Blue Golf Scramble rounds out the weekend July 4.

6. Harpers Ferry

With Harpers Ferry’s major impact on the nation’s history, it’s no surprise there are several July 4 events to choose from!

Celebrate in the town’s Gazebo Park with food and a band playing patriotic tunes. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park has living history demonstrations and patriotic crafts and games. Try the tug-of-war and water bucket brigade games, guided trail walks and free tours about John Brown and the Civil War.

There’s also a concert on Independence Day, with performers like the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps. Catch the fireworks in nearby Shenandoah Junction on July 2.

There’s plenty more July 4 fun in West Virginia! How will you celebrate?

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This post was last updated on July 28, 2020