RIPLEY, WV (WOWK) – Country music artist Ronnie McDowell is set to headline this year’s Independence Day Celebration in Ripley, West Virginia.

McDowell will be performing during the event on Friday, June 30, according to his website and Ripley Mayor Carolyn Rader.

The annual event in the county seat of Jackson County, West Virginia, is known as the USA’s “Largest Small Town Independence Day Celebration.” Ripley’s 4th of July parade is a tradition that dates back to the late 1800s.

McDowell first rose to fame in 1977 after writing and recording “The King Is Gone,” a tribute to Elvis Presley who had died that August.

His 46-year career includes a other hits include “Older Women,” “You’re Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation,” “All Tied Up,” “In A New York Minute,” and “Watchin Girls Go By,” along with duets with other major music industry names such as Conway Twitty and Jerry Lee Lewis, according to his website. McDowell is also known for his cover of “Unchained Melody.”

This will be the fifth year WOWK 13 News will broadcast the Ripley 4th of July parade live on television. For more information on the celebration, visit the City of Ripley’s website.