RIPLEY, WV (WOWK) – Ripley’s 4th of July Celebration returns this year with festivities beginning next week.

According to the Ripley Convention & Visitors Bureau events for the town’s annual Independence Day celebration begin Wednesday, June 29, and will run through Friday, July 8. Ripley Mayor Carolyn Rader says the events include free concerts, a carnival, a two-mile run, fireworks, and of course, the oldest and largest parade in the Mountain State.

“Ripley’s Fourth of July is truly a special event,” said Rader. “It’s such a hometown tradition here. We’re excited to host our guests from out-of-town and it’s a big homecoming for so many families, too.”

The Ripley CVB says several of the events are going to take place at the Jackson County Courthouse lawn and square for “America’s Largest Small-Town Independence Celebration.” Some highlights among the events include:

  • Gospel Night featuring the Gospel Harmony Boys at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 28
  • Charleston Metro Bands at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 30, which will also take place on the courthouse lawn.
  • Myer’s Amusements carnival will also arrive in town on Thursday, June 30 and will remain in town through July 4.
  • Friday, July 1 will feature a “Class Act,” which is an all-class reunion for Ripley High School alumni and their friends set to begin at 7 p.m. This event will also take place at the courthouse square.
  • Saturday, July 2 will include a concert from West Virginia singer and songwriter Morgan White, along with her band at 4 p.m.
  • Bluegrass Night will kick off following Morgan White’s performance. The event will include a performance from Open Rail and The Putnam County Family and The Cossin Brothers performing on stage together for the event.
  • U-Turn Concert Ministries will take the stage for a Christian Rock concert event on Sunday, July 3, with Kutless as the headliner.

More festivities are set for Independence day starting with Little Patriot’s Hour at the courthouse square at 9 a.m. and the Firecracker 2-Miler race starting at 11:30 a.m. The event will start in the block adjacent to the courthouse, according to the Ripley CVB.

Following the race, the annual 4th of July parade will kick off at 12 p.m. with a special appearance from West Virginia University’s new Mountaineer Mascot Mary Roush. The Grand Marshal has not yet been announced.

WOWK 13 News is a sponsor of Ripley’s 4th of July Parade and we will be broadcasting the event live on air.

Other events for the evening include music from WV Kids on First, Kurt Shultis, Track 9, Ultra Sound and Ricky K’s Road Trip. The events on July 4 wrap up with the fireworks display at 10 p.m.

The week of events will conclude with a visit from “A Call to Honor: The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.” The traveling replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will be set up at the Dutch Miller of Ripley from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 6 through Friday, July 8.

For more details on Ripley’s 4th of July events, visit the celebration’s website.