Mayor: ‘Ripley is the most patriotic city in America’
JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) —
The city of Ripley prides itself on being the "Largest small-town Independence Day celebration." Hundreds of people came out for Wednesday’s parade down Main Street, featuring plenty of familiar faces, the Ripley High School band, and much more.
It’s a city where every day is the Fourth of July, thanks, in part, to Mayor Carolyn Rader.
"I picked up the American flag, and I said. ‘This is it. This represents it all,’" said Rader.
It's a tradition she carries on every Friday, and of course, on Independence Day.
"The veterans go by, they slow their car down, and they salute,” said Rader.
Rader joined hundreds of Jackson County natives for the city's annual celebration, the largest in the state. There was such a large turnout that you'd never be able to tell that temperatures were in the 90s.
“The heat's not bothering me. I'm used to it," Lawrence Conger Jr. said.
For many, it's an annual homecoming.
"we kind of have a family reunion. I know a lot of other families do. Everybody comes home, and it brings everybody out," said Greg Carder, who ran in the two-mile race.
Nancy Jackson came all the way from Georgia for the occasion, the hometown of her husband, a retired Navy veteran.
"It's important to all of us in our family - our joy of being able to live in the country we live in," said Jackson. "Ripley just shows so much enthusiasm. You see flags, you see people wearing shirts, proudly displaying their American flags. They're proud of their people who served in the military, as well as the country itself."
Festivities continued Wednesday night with a highly-anticipated fireworks show.