Ripley to host six-day Fourth of July celebration

Hershel “Woody” Williams is the grand marshal of Ripley’s Independence Parade at noon on Saturday, July 3.

Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams is serving as grand marshal of Ripley’s 151st Independence Celebration Parade.

The noon parade on Saturday, July 3, is a highlight of a six-day celebration of free concerts, special events and fireworks.

Williams, a Marine serving in World War II, was honored for his distinguished service during the battle of Iwo Jima.

“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.”

A variety of free musical events begins with an 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 29, concert by the Charleston Metro Band on the lawn of the Jackson County Courthouse. Bluegrass is featured at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 30, with performances by The Sheppard Brothers, Tracy Miller and The Putnam Family with The Cossin Brothers.

Adam D. Tucker brings his Tim McGraw Tribute Show to the Constellium Stage at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 1. Rimshot opens at 6:30 p.m.

The Class Act, Ripley High School’s all-class reunion, is 7 p.m. Friday, July 2, on the courthouse lawn.

With Independence Day falling on Sunday in 2021, a full day of activities is planned on Saturday, July 3. Morning events are comprised of the Little Patriots Hour at 9 a.m., opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. and the Firecracker 2-Miler race at 11:30 a.m.

“Our Man, Uncle Sam” is the theme of the grand parade beginning at noon near Ripley High School. It concludes on West Main Street at Sheetz, the event sponsor. Special guests include “Abe & Mary Lincoln” and the Mountaineer mascot from WVU.

Line dancing follows at 2 p.m. with concerts by Ultra Sound at 4 p.m., Rockland Road at 6 p.m. and Dave & Daphne at 8 p.m. The fireworks display is at 10 p.m.

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

The U-Turn Freedom Fest features an 8 p.m. Sunday concert by Rhett Walker.

For more information, including the pet parade, Patriots on Wheels parade, apple pie contest and watermelon eating contest, visit