STEUBENVILLE - As the clock continues to tick down to the start of the third-annual Stars and Stripes Concert and Festival, organizers say they are confident the weather will be perfect Sunday.
The Stars and Stripes committee met Monday morning to review details for the annual event that will begin with opening ceremonies at noon Sunday at the Harding Practice Field. Hollywood City Center is title sponsor of the event.
"Everything is under control. Bob Evans Restaurant has agreed to supply lunch for the 20 people associated with the concert entertainment. We will be borrowing dishes from Scaffidi's Restaurant for that lunch. And then Scaffidi's will supply the dinner," reported Deanne Conrad of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.
Conrad's report preceded the review of a lengthy list of details gathered by committee Co-Chair Tricia Damewood-Maple.
"Everyone laughs about my lists, but I am very detailed oriented. We have come a long way since our first concert and festival. Last year I sat here and made a major list of every single item we could think of. All this planning has gotten a lot easier," laughed Damewood-Maple.
But her list was surpassed by chamber President Sue Hershey's list of supplies needed on the day of the concert and festival.
"Duct tape. Can't have an event without duct tape, string, twine, pliers, cell phone chargers, pens, markers, hammers," Hershey read.
The festival committee will hold a final review session Thursday afternoon.
"We are definitely more organized this year. We do have this under control and the planning is much less intense because we are better prepared," remarked committee Co-Chair John Cucarese.
"I am actually excited about the weather forecast for Sunday. The weather folks are calling for highs in the upper 70s with just a small chance of a shower. It is going to be a beautiful day for the Family Fun Zone and the beer corral in the Kroger parking lot as well as the custom car show. By the time the entertainment starts in Harding Stadium, it will will be a very pleasant evening," declared Damewood-Maple.
The Joseph Sisters of Wheeling will take the stage at Harding Stadium at 5:30 p.m. They will be followed by the Todd Jones Band at 6:45 p.m. and headliner Phil Vassar at 8:30 p.m.
Advance tickets for the concert will be available through Saturday at Kwik King stores in Steubenville, Wintersville, Toronto, Follansbee and Weirton. Tickets also are available at Peoples National Bank branches in Adena, Dillonvale and Mount Pleasant; the customer service center at the Fort Steuben Mall; the visitors center at Historic Fort Steuben; at the chamber office at 630 Market St., Steubenville; or online at jeffersoncountychamber.com.
General admission tickets for the concert are $15 and reserved seat tickets are $20 if purchased in advance. On the day of the concert, the general admission tickets will cost $20 and reserved seat tickets will be $25.
"We will be accepting credit cards and debit cards at the ticket windows at Harding Stadium on Sunday," Hershey said.
The concert will be followed by the city's annual fireworks display at approximately 10 p.m.
"The really cool closing will be the start of the fireworks, sponsored by the City of Steubenville and the Steubenville City Schools, just as the final note of the last Phil Vassar song is played. It will be like a Pittsburgh Pirates game where the fireworks start right after the final out of the game," commented Cucarese.
Organizers pointed out that while there will be an admission charge the concert, there will be no charge to enter the Family Fun Zone.
"I feel very good that the chamber of commerce, the city and the city schools along with our sponsors have come together to make this Stars and Stripes Concert and Festival even bigger and better," noted Damewood-Maple.
"It is never easy to pull off a concert of this size with the entertainers we are bringing in, but we are doing it and I believe we will have another major success. I have never seen such diverse organizations work so well together," she added.
"Everyone on this committee has their own business, but we are able to take the time to start meeting and planning for the Stars and Stripes Concert and Festival months in advance. We are able to continue to take time away from our businesses to meet to discuss the event details and finally to put in a lot of hours this weekend putting up the stage and tents and then making sure everything proceeds according to the plans on Sunday. This is really about doing something spectacular for the community," Cucarese stated.
"This event keeps people in our own community that day and draws out-of-town visitors to Steubenville. We make our community a little better by providing first-class entertainment and fun events," said Damewood-Maple.
"If you take a family of four to a similar concert in Pittsburgh you could expect to pay $500 for the tickets, gas, parking and food. The gas is next to nothing, the parking is free, the food and concert tickets are very affordable," cited Cucarese.
"And then, when all the entertainment is finished, you can sit back in your seats and watch one of the best fireworks shows in the area right above your heads," Cucarese said.
(Gossett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)