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‘Woody’ Williams to serve as Ripley’s 151st Independence Celebration Parade Grand Marshal

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Ripley is continuing its tradition of celebrating Independence Day with its 151st Independence Celebration Parade. Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams will serve as Grand Marshal of the parade. (Photos Courtesy: The Town of Ripley)

RIPLEY, WV (WOWK) — Ripley is continuing its tradition of celebrating Independence Day with its 151st Independence Celebration Parade, an annual event that was not even stopped by the pandemic.

This year, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams will serve as Grand Marshal of the parade. Williams served as a Marine serving in World War II and was honored for his distinguished service during the battle of Iwo Jima. He is the last surviving WWII Medal of Honor recipient.

“We are so honored to have him lead the state’s largest parade,” Ripley Mayor Carolyn Rader said. “He is a proud West Virginian who is truly an American hero.”

The parade, themed “Our Man, Uncle Sam,” will take place at 12 p.m. on July 3 starting near Ripley High School and end at the Sheetz on West Main Street. The city says “Abe and Mary Lincoln” and WVU’s Mountaineer mascot will also be special guests at the event.

City officials are calling the parade a highlight of a six-day celebration that includes free concerts, special events and fireworks.

Independence Day falls on Sunday this year, so the Town of Ripley has planned a full day of activities for Saturday, July 3. Those activities include some morning events including, Little Patriots Hour at 9 a.m., opening ceremonies at 10 a.m., and the Firecracker 2-Miler race at 11:30 a.m.

Can’t make it to the parade? 13 News is proud to broadcast the Ripley’s 151st Independence Celebration Parade for the second consecutive year. 

Watch 13 News co-hosts Hannah Goetz and Lily Bradley and evening anchor Rob Macko with parade route reaction on our statewide broadcast and livestream coverage starting at 12:30pm Saturday, July 3rd on this station.

We’ll be there and hope to see you there as well!

Ripley 4th of July events line-up

  • Tuesday, June 29: Charleston Metro Band concert at 8 p.m. on the lawn of the Jackson County Courthouse.
  • Wednesday, June 30: Bluegrass music will be featured at 7 p.m with performances by The Sheppard Brothers, Tracy Miller, and The Putnam Family with The Cossin Brothers.
  • Thursday, July 1: Adam D. Tucker brings his Tim McGraw Tribute Show to the Constellium Stage at 8 p.m. Rimshot opens at 6:30 p.m.
  • Friday, July 2:
    • Line dancing at 2 p.m.
    • Ultra Sound concert at 4 p.m.
    • Rockland Road concert at 6 p.m.
    • Dave & Daphne concert at 8 p.m.
    • Fireworks at 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 3:
    • Ripley’s 151st 4th of July Parade starts at 12 p.m.
    • Little Patriots Hour at 9 a.m.
    • opening ceremonies at 10 a.m.
    • Firecracker 2-Miler race at 11:30 a.m.
  • Sunday, July 4: Rhett Walker concert at 8 p.m.

Gambill Amusements occupies the municipal parking lot from June 29 through July 3. The carnival is sponsored by the Ripley Volunteer Fire Department.

For more information, including the pet parade, Patriots on Wheels parade, apple pie contest and watermelon eating contest, visit the official Ripley 4th of July website.

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