4th of July rolled on with derby, other events | News, Sports, Jobs




Many attended Wellsburg’s weeklong celebration of Independence Day which came to a close on Thursday. — Warren Scott

WELLSBURG — The city’s weeklong celebration of Independence Day came to a close Thursday but went out with a bang.

The day started with a flag raising ceremony at the E.R. Nichols 1st Ward Park, continued with the Oil Can Derby on Fourth Street and a parade on Charles Street and concluded with a fireworks display seen from many areas of the city.

Organizers said it was a week that went mostly smoothly, with an exception being the Wellsburg 4th of July 5K Run-Walk, which was postponed because of an issue with the timing system.

While the 5K run-walk was postponed, the Oil Can Derby was ready to roll on Thursday morning, with 34 young racers eager to compete in their soapbox-style cars.

Before they started, Mayor Dan Dudley welcomed the many attending and asked for a moment of silence in response to the death of William Watson, a longtime local attorney who provided legal counsel for Brooke Hills Park and served on

Many attended Wellsburg’s weeklong celebration of Independence Day which came to a close on Thursday. — Warren Scott

Members of Cub Scout Pack 1553 raised the U.S. flag at the 1st Ward Park while David Stiles performed the national anthem.

Led by Cubmaster Ed Rawson, the scouts included Cylus Dunson, Jaxon Spencer, Adeline Rawson, Beatrice Harbin, Lilianna Dunson and Aaron Buck.

Organized by Fred Marino and Steve Mitchell, with help from many volunteers, the derby has been held on Fourth Street since it was revived in 2012.

But Jim Williams, a long-time Wellsburg resident, can recall watching the racers careen down the steep sloped Tenth Street and later, 11th Street.

Both he and Bill “W.W.” Craft were named marshals for this year’s race in recognition of their long-time support and assistance.

Many attended Wellsburg’s weeklong celebration of Independence Day which came to a close on Thursday. — Warren Scott

Dating to 1946, the race was named for the oil cans produced by Eagle Manufacturing, its lead sponsor in those days.

Local businesses and other organizations have continued to play a big part in it, serving as sponsors for many of the colorful cars driven by boys and girls in two divisions based on the combined weights of the racers and cars.

Local disc jockey David Secrist offered a play-by-play as each pair of racers careened down the street, using their brakes to come to a stop after passing the finish line at its more level intersection with Charles Street.

Orange construction barrels and large hay bales separated the cars from the many spectators who watched from each side of the street.

To help keep them cool, the Wellsburg Lions Club sold snow cones, a tradition that dates to the derby’s early days.

Many attended Wellsburg’s weeklong celebration of Independence Day which came to a close on Thursday. — Warren Scott

After many heats, the results included:

• Stock: Cameron Wilson, who defeated her closest competitor by just .033 seconds; Liam Morris, second place; Parker Isinghood, third place; and Brantley Pernell, fourth place.

• Super stock: Joss Baron, first place; Spencer Speece, second place; Wade Walnoha, third place; and Preslee Ewusiak, fourth place.

Cars named best of show, for their outstanding appearance, in the Stock and Super Stock divisions were sponsored by Holiday Lanes and Strikers Sports Bar, respectively.

Other racers included: Liz Mitchell, Emily Mitchell, Emery Blanchin, Avery Greene, Bayleigh Wade, Kyler Tamburin, Brody Durbin, Tenton Clinton, Kameron Moody, Kayla Spencer, Peyton Conley, Cheyenne Baier, Kolby Sperringer, Parker Isinghood, Dante Marino, Rocco Maguschak, Seraphina Kuzma, Liam Bryan, Isabella Gaudio, Kellar Jackson, Gabriella Moore, Blake Lancaster, Laney Charlton, Izzy Aftanis and Hunter Phillips.

Many attended Wellsburg’s weeklong celebration of Independence Day which came to a close on Thursday. — Warren Scott

All of the participants received trophies and invited to appear in the Independence Day Parade held on Charles Street on Thursday evening.

Also joining the many emergency vehicles, floats and musical groups in the parade were children who participated in a bicycle decorating contest held on the nearby Town Square by the Wellsburg Kiwanis Club.

Serving as parade marshal was Bill Bayless, a Wellsburg native who has gone on to great success as a developer of college campus facilities and has been a strong supporter of Brooke Hills Park.

Thursday’s events were just part of the week-long celebration organized by the volunteer Wellsburg 4th of July Committee, headed by Cody Rice, with support from many local businesses and organizations.

It was kicked off with a block party held on Charles Street by the Wellsburg Urban Redevelopment Authority and continued with six nights of free concerts at Central Park, corn hole and fishing tournaments and games for children at local parks.

Many attended Wellsburg’s weeklong celebration of Independence Day which came to a close on Thursday. — Warren Scott

Winners of the fishing tournament, which was open to all ages, were: Jaden Paugh, for age 6 and under; Cammie McClain, ages 7-11; Timothy Aracich, ages 12-16; John George Jr., ages 17 and older; and John George Sr., overall winner.

Dan Otto, president of the Wellsburg Chamber of Commerce — which sold popcorn and cotton candy during the concerts — said the group was happy to be a part of the celebration.

Spectators at the Oil Can Derby were asked their favorite part of Wellsburg’s Independence Day celebration.

“My favorite event? I think I’m looking at it right now,” said Howard Bertram of Wellsburg.

“It’s a fun week. It’s one big party all week,” said Brian Barbetta, also of Wellsburg.

Dana Walker Bronsord, one of many former residents who returned to their hometown for the occasion, said, “The smalltown USA feel. There’s nothing like it anywhere else,” she said, adding, “It’s not one thing. It’s everything.”

The Wellsburg 4th of July 5K Run-Walk has been rescheduled for Sept. 21. Those interested in participating may register at: https://runsignup.com/Race/WV/Wellsburg/Wellsburg4thofJuly5KRunWalk.

The cost up to Sept. 6 is $25, which includes a T-shirt, with the registration fee to rise to $30 afterwards.

Proceeds from the race support the various events and activities organized by the Wellsburg 4th of July Committee.

ENTERTAIMENT — Tri-State Community Band entertained the early arrivals Thursday during Steubenville’s 4th of July celebration at Berkman Amphitheater in Fort Steuben Park. Ron Retzer Trio and US Kids also performed, with the evening’s entertainment capped off by fireworks. — Linda Harris

OFF THEY GO! — Cameron Wilson, left, and Kolby Sperringer were among many young racers who participated in the Wellsburg Oil Can Derby Thursday, one of many events held during the city’s celebration of Independence Day. After many heats, Wilson emerged as the winner of the Stock division while Joss Baron was winner in the super stock division. — Warren Scott

HEADED FOR THE FINISH — Spencer Speece, left, and Joss Baron were among many young racers who participated in the Wellsburg Oil Can Derby Thursday, one of many events held during the city’s celebration of Independence Day. After many heats, Baron emerged as the winner of the Super Stock division while Cameron Wilson was winner in the stock division. — Warren Scott





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