West Virginia June 26, 2022
This Charming Small Town In West Virginia Celebrates Fourth Of July In A Big Way
West Virginia is charming in every way and nowhere is that charm more apparent than in
Ripley. Located in the western part of the state, this small town in West Virginia is home to approximately 3,000 residents. As you walk around, you’ll notice its beautiful downtown area, friendly residents, and wide range of businesses … but that’s not all Ripley is known for. This beautiful small town in West Virginia is known for its big-time celebrations based around Independence Day.
Ripley’s patriotic traditions date back to the 1870s, making it home to the oldest parade and oldest Independence Day Celebration in all of West Virginia.
Over the years, many memorable events have taken place in Ripley including a nationally-televised “Today Show,” where TV crews visited the small town to film a 15-minute segment about the 1965 celebration. On July 4, 2002, President George W. Bush was the event's guest speaker and during the 2021 parade, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams served as grand marshal.
Not only does Ripley host the oldest Independence Day Celebration in West Virginia, but it is also America’s largest small-town fourth of July celebration.
One of the first and must-do activities during this week-long celebration is to stop by the Cedar Lakes Conference Center for the 60th anniversary of the Mountain State Art and Craft Fair.
This three-day event features artisans with handmade creations ranging from colorful quilts to iron creations that are forged by blacksmiths. You can also find homemade food on-site, such as apple butter and corn meal. This event will take place July 1st - 3rd, and you can visit the
Mountain State Art and Craft Fair website
for a complete schedule.
Kids will love to spend their week at the carnival, where you will find rides and activities for the young and the young at heart.
The carnival will be held in the municipal parking lot in Ripley from June 30th - July 4th
The Sheetz Grand Parade is a highlight of Ripley’s Independence Day Celebration, and you’ll certainly want to arrive early as the population in this small town drastically grows to enjoy this must-see event.
This large parade will put a smile on your face as floats, vehicles of all shapes and sizes, local bands, and other organizations pass by.
While America’s largest small-town Fourth of July celebration will certainly keep you busy, make sure you schedule the time to explore and enjoy all that Ripley has to offer. When you are hungry, stop by Roadhouse 2081. This family-owned steakhouse features a welcoming atmosphere and a tasty menu.
has been serving Ripley since 1990. It features quite an extensive menu that ranges from appetizers like macaroni and cheese bites to steak and seafood meals.
When you have a sweet tooth, grab a frozen treat at I Scream Sundae, a popular dessert destination with a horror movie theme.
themed ice cream shop
, it is Halloween all year long. Your sweet tooth will thank you for stopping by and trying ice cream treats like Arachnophobia, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Hocus Pocus.
You can always spend your day out in nature. Within 20 miles of Ripley, you will find 10 lakes, offering you fishing and kayaking opportunities.
If you love to fish and kayak, we recommend visiting Elk Fork Lake, which is a regular stop for statewide kayak fishing competitions.
Within this small town, you’ll find dozens of local businesses that will delight you in every way. The Farmhouse Market Finds is a one-of-a-kind market filled with all types of treasures like antiques, décor, and furniture.
Farmhouse Market Finds
features quite an assortment of products, even the building itself is a true gem. This market is located in an 1890 building that was originally built as a personal residence but has since served many purposes such as a hospital and bed and breakfast.
And of course, West Virginia Artisan Market is a must-visit destination any time of year. Here, you can shop from more than 70 vendors in one location.
As you walk around this
unique shopping area
, give yourself plenty of time to look around. This is a terrific place to purchase jewelry, paintings, crafts, cards, and more. In addition to finding a selection of unique treasures, the WV Artisan Market also hosts art classes and you can stop by to order a tasty lunch,
There's no doubt that Ripley is a small town that certainly knows how to celebrate! It is a West Virginia destination that deserves a spot on every individual's bucket list!
For more information on Ripley’s Fourth of July celebrations, visit this event’s
official website. You can also visit Ripley’s Convention and Visitors Bureau website and Facebook page for more information about the town and upcoming events.
Have you ever participated in the oldest Independence Day Celebration in Ripley, West Virginia? If so, what are some of your favorite activities during this week-long event? We’d love to hear all about your experiences in the comments!