East Palestine officials seeking talent for July 4th show, concert

By Virginia Ross

EAST PALESTINE — If you’ve got the talent, the area chamber of commerce wants you during this year’s Fourth of July Celebration.

As part of the city’s Independence Day festivities, the chamber is looking to sponsor a talent show and community concert at the city park.

“But first we need people to sign up to participate,” said chamber Director Endia Wisser. “We need performers willing to donate their time and volunteer their talent to make this happen.”

Wisser said the chamber is looking for family-friendly entertainment. She said she would like the talent show to start around 4 p.m. Performers will receive a certificate or some other form of recognition for their participation. After the talent show, a community concert featuring local bands, soloists and entertainers will take the stage.

“We’re just looking for people who really want an opportunity to perform and entertain us,” she said. “We want the whole day to be a day of fun and entertainment for everyone.”

Wisser said other festivities that day will include children’s games, a bike parade, pet parade, alumni breakfast and three-on-three basketball tournament. Wisser said the chamber also would like to resurrect the bed races that were once a popular part of the July 4 celebration. Basically, teams decorated beds, which were on wheels, and raced the beds around the city park.

“It’s been years since we did the bed races, but we’d really like to see that again,” she said. “We’re trying to work as a community to bring a lot of the events and other activities we all enjoyed back to the city.”

Wisser said that so far, the talent lineup includes the local band the Figleys. She said organizers are hoping pop star Sarah Burgess, who grew up in East Palestine, makes an appearance.

The stage itself is planned to be 12 feet by 20 feet with lights and a sound system. It will be placed in front of the tennis courts in City Park.

The annual fireworks display will cap off the day’s events, Wisser said. For years, the fireworks were an annual attraction, drawing people from all over Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania to East Palestine. The displays were discontinued a few years back because of a lack of funding. However, last year the chamber raised money through private donations and resurrected the tradition.

“We’ve been trying and we’re always looking for ways to pay for things,” Wisser said. “The main thing is to get as much community support as possible, and the more we get the word out, the better. If people know what we’re trying to do, I think they’ll want to help and get involved. At least, that’s what we’re hoping for.”

Registration deadline for the talent show and concert is June 15. Individuals or groups interested in participating in any of the July 4 activities or obtaining more information should contact Wisser at (330) 921-9261.

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