RIPLEY - Ripley’s Fourth of July Grand Parade is rewarding the best float entry with a $1,000 prize.

Sponsored again by Sheetz, the parade begins at noon near Ripley High School and proceeds to the Sheetz location at the intersection of West Main Street and Academy Drive.

  Ripley’s Fourth of July Committee began a new tradition last year. The entry judged as the parade’s best was awarded the “Ken Hechler Award.” 

 The late Ken Hechler (1914-2016) was a US Congressman (1959-1977) and WV Secretary of State (1985-2001) who was a long-time participant in the parade, driving his familiar red Jeep. The large trophy displayed at Ripley City Hall, is appropriately topped by a scaled down red Jeep.

 Sponsorship by Sheetz enabled the prize money for the parade’s best float. To be eligible, float entries must be large trucks, wagons or self-propelled vehicles and carry the theme of “Ripley Believes in America.” Decorated cars and pick-up trucks are not eligible for the prize money.

 “This award will be something special,” said Mayor Carolyn Rader. “To win $1,000 and to be associated with the Ken Hechler Memorial Trophy will be quite an honor.”

 Other parade trophies to be awarded are for the best marching unit, novelty, car and equestrian entries. 

  Entry forms are available at Ripley4thofJuly.US or Ripley City Hall.