The Ohio River Sternwheel Festival has been around since 1976 and has become a highly anticipated event in the area. Originally formed to celebrate the sternwheelers and riverboats that the Mid-Ohio Valley is known for, now the festival continues to celebrate the heritage of the area but has grown to include live music, pageants, children’s activities, and a grand fireworks display.
This year’s festival has been dedicated to Kyle Hockenberry, the US Army soldier who lost his legs and left arm in Afghanistan. “Forrest Gump” actor Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band recently visited Marietta to raise money to build Hockenberry a Smart Home; an event that raised over $200,000 for the cause.
The festival will kick off at 6 pm today with a dedication to Hockenberry.
The full schedule is below and at the festival website, but highlights include Kid’s Day on Saturday from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday at the gazebo near the Lafayette Hotel, the sternwheel races from 1-2 p.m. on Sunday, and the fireworks display on Saturday night following the Bee Gees tribute band at 8:30 p.m.
Local food and craft vendors will be on hand throughout the weekend.
Fox 28 in Columbus recently featured the festival on their weekly “Road Trippin'” segment, as well as featuring the historic Blennerhassett hotel in Parkersburg, the Unicorn Wine Guild in Belpre, and The Galley in Marietta.
6 p.m.: Opening ceremonies.
7 p.m.: Steve and Bev Pottmeyer
7:30 p.m.: Little Miss and Mr. Sternwheel Festival Pageant
8 p.m.: Arrival – The Journey Tribute Band
9:30 p.m.: David Nail
11:30 a.m.: Introduction of Queen Candidates
Noon: Marietta High School Wall of Sound Marching Band.
1 p.m.: Marietta High School Show Choir “Premiere”
2 p.m.: Monday Calling
3 p.m.: Eric Himan
4 p.m.: The Chase
5 p.m.: Monday Calling
6 p.m.: Eric Himan
7 p.m.: Coronation and recognition of past queens
7:30 p.m.: The Chase
8:30 p.m.: Stayin’ Alive – One Nite with the Bee Gees
9:30 p.m.: Harry J. Robinson Memorial Fireworks
10 p.m.: Stayin’ Alive – One Nite with the Bee Gees
8 a.m.: Sunrise Service
9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Car Show
10 a.m.: Alfie and the Omegas
11 a.m.: Jennifer Simmons
Noon: Hadden Sayers Band
1 p.m.: Captain James E. Sands Memorial Sternheeler Races
2 p.m.: Hadden Sayers Band
2:30 p.m.: Phil Dirt and the Dozers
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