RIPLEY - It is known as “The USA’s Largest Small Town 4th of July Celebration” and the 2014 edition will continue that time-honored tradition in Ripley.
A concert by West Virginian Adam D. Tucker headlines a full day of entertainment on the Jackson County Courthouse square. Performing at 8:30 p.m., Tucker is well known from Nashville to Las Vegas for his tribute to country music icon Tim McGraw. Event Chairman John McGinley says it promises to be a lively return engagement for Tucker.
“Adam performed one of his first local shows at the Ripley Fourth,” he said. “We’re very excited about his show closing out the evening.”
The day will include performances by Hogan’s Goat at 11 a.m. Dave Harrison, formerly of Hillbreed, is part of the versatile bluegrass band.  Twelve local finalists in the 33rd annual Country Showdown competition will be on stage beginning at 2 p.m. Comedian and magician Matt Fore will entertain at 4:30 p.m. Ripley native Jeff Ray and his band will be in concert at 6 p.m.

Morning activities will start with a pancake breakfast from 7-10 a.m. at Calvary United Methodist Church followed by the 10 a.m. opening ceremonies on the courthouse lawn. The year will mark the 16th running of the Firecracker 2-Miler race at 11:30 a.m. in front of thousands of spectators who will be lined up for the parade at noon.
Dreama Denver, widow of TV celebrity Bob Denver of “Gilligan’s Island” fame, will serve as grand marshal. The Princeton resident was instrumental in leading the effort this year to have John Denver’s “Country Roads” designated as West Virginia’s fourth official state song.

“She is a great example of this year’s parade theme, ‘Saluting the Volunteer Spirit,’” McGinley noted. “The Denver Foundation was founded to help special needs children and her work with veterans is inspiring and heartfelt.”

In addition to the live entertainment, highlights will include a carnival by Gambill Amusements (July 1-5). A new addition will be a 7 p.m. pig roast at Country Rhodes Bed & Breakfast sponsored by Main Street Ripley.  A 10 p.m. fireworks display presented by the Ripley Volunteer Fire Department will cap the evening.

Mayor Carolyn Rader says Ripley is the place to be on Independence Day to celebrate the true spirit of America.

“Ripley is a proud city that wants to share our love for our country,” she said.
The celebration actually begins at 12:30 p.m. June 29 with a gospel sing on the courthouse square. The Godsmen, Ron Arthur and the Jamie Tolley Family will be on stage.
See for a complete schedule of events. Call the Ripley Convention & Visitors Bureau at 304-514-2609 or 844-772-8850 for information.