ALDERSON, WV (WVNS) – Friday in Alderson, people are setting up tents, unpacking their instruments, and getting ready for the biggest fourth of July bash anywhere in the state of West Virginia.
Karen Lobban, a lifelong Alderson resident and 4th of July committee member says the celebration has come a long way since she participated for the first time 60 years ago.
“I rode a pony in the parade in ’62, and in ’65 I was the 4th of July queen,” Lobban told 59News. “I’ve been with it, well… from the beginning.”
Every year, thousands of visitors descend on Alderson for the Fourth of July weekend and that means big profits for local business owners.
Terri James co-owns the Riverview Café and the Riverview Motel, which won first prize in the town’s business decorating contest. She says the week of the Fourth is always their busiest week of the year.
“It is a busy weekend for us. For the hotel, we are booked usually a year in advance. And the cafe’s been open for three years so it’s quite busy,” said James.
But the Festival doesn’t just bring tourists to town. It’s also a chance for kids who grew up and left Alderson to come home.
That’s the case for Randy Goodson, whose band The Goodson Boys are headlining the Friday night celebrations.
He says in his two decades of touring and performing, playing at the Fourth of July celebration in Alderson is the show that always means the most to him.
“I went to school there (Alderson Elementary) and I went to school there (Alderson High School), and getting to play right in the heart of it is fun,” said Goodson. “I’ve played this gig probably 6 or 7 times through my 20 years of playing and it’s always been my favorite. Cause it’s the hometown gig, you know?
Friday, there will be craft vendors, a bouncy house, and a water slide at the Alderson Memorial Football Field. Saturday there’s a 5k, an ice cream social, and a Rodeo. Sunday there will be float races in the Greenbrier River.
And on Monday the 4th, the grand parade makes its way through town at 10:30 in the morning, and the grand fireworks display will take place at 10 in the evening at Alderson Memorial Football Field.