Ripley, West Virginia is not a famous place. It's not known for famous residents or events. But the 4th of July is when the town shines and puts on a free all-day party for anyone who wants to come.
Two of my sisters, their husbands, a nephew and his girlfriend decided to share the holiday with us this year. After a country breakfast at my house we all headed to town for the 2-Mile Firecracker Run. Even though the rain only let up intermittently all day, we had a great time.
My sons Tommy and Derek were running, as well as Derek's children, Haley and Jared. It was exciting to watch the runners take off. Tommy's on the top center of the photo, in the black hat. Jared, Haley and Derek are lost in the crowd of runners.
Here Tommy crosses the finish line. All four of them did well. We enjoyed cheering from the sidelines.
Derek, Tommy, and Haley talk to Uncle Jay about the race.
After the race the annual parade began. It was a little disappointing this year--too many politicians, not enough bands, too many beauty pageant winners of all ages from babies to teens, and no Shriners or clowns. Lots of candy thrown, but probably only 25% of the usual number of kids to catch it. A lot of candy was left on the wet streets after the parade was over.
We were hungry by then and had a delicious lunch at the Court Street Station restaurant right across from the courthouse square where most of the day's activities were scheduled.
After lunch we went back to listen to the Colgate Country Showdown, a country music singing contest. Granddaughter Jordan was singing, so we waited to cheer her on. She did a great job and we thought she might win but this year she took first runner-up. She really rocked the crowd with "Independence Day" and a new song that I didn't know, but it was a good choice to keep the crowd with her and engaged.
Then it was back home for food, an outside fire, conversation and laughter. We planned to go back into town for the fireworks but everyone was comfortable and too tired to go. Tomorrow it's breakfast at the Downtowner, storytelling at the Mountain State Arts and Crafts Fair, and a cookout in the evening. Another full day ahead, so its off to bed to prepare.