South Charleston’s Summerfest opens to the public today and continues daily through Saturday, Aug. 17, around the Mound in South Charleston.
The yearly summer showcase, rife with plenty of free, family-friendly activities, will include the Around the Mound Car Show on Saturday, a variety of live entertainment acts and a Kids’ Zone area (with free activities, Sno-Cones, cotton candy and other enticements) each day and a captivating fireworks display to cap off the festivities on Saturday night, lighting the skies, starting at 10 p.m.
The fireworks won’t be the only lights in the air for this year’s Summerfest, either, said Vicki Vaughan, the executive director of the South Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“We have something new this year,” Vaughan said. “We just happened to find a guy who has a Ferris wheel that he goes to NASCAR races and other events with. It’s a huge, lighted Ferris wheel.”
The Ferris wheel will be operating during Summerfest on a vacant lot on Seventh Avenue, Vaughan said.
“It’s close to the Mound, and he’s going to charge for rides, but it’s not in the Kids’ Zone,” she said. “It’s so people can take in all of the festivities.”
Vaughan also touted the entertainment lineup for this week’s gathering. “The entertainment is really good. We have a band that sounds like CCR and a band that sounds like Chicago. Krista Hughes was on ‘The Voice’ — she a little more of a country artist.”
She added that shag dance lessons are also going to be offered this evening, Wednesday, Aug. 14, from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.
This year’s Summerfest will be the first without the presence of its linchpin, former South Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Bob Anderson, who retired from the post in October 2018 and died at age 75 on July 13.
“Summerfest was Bob’s baby,” South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens Jr. said. “Back in the day, Summerfest was pretty much a one man-show; he planned and scheduled it all. ... It’s grown into this huge event with a budget of over $100 thousand, and it takes a committee a whole year to plan it now.
“It wouldn’t have gotten this far without Bob. I’m sure he’ll be on my mind and the minds of a lot of other folks, too, this week,” the mayor said.
Musical acts scheduled to perform on stage at Summerfest include:
Wednesday, Aug. 14
• 7-10 p.m.: Band of Oz
Thursday, Aug. 15
• 6-7:40 p.m. The Exiles
• 8-9:30 p.m.: The Motown Sounds of Touch
Friday, Aug. 16
• 6-7:40 p.m.: The Krista Hughes Band
• 8-10 p.m.: Green River Revival ( Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute band)
Saturday, Aug. 17
• 6-7:40 p.m.: Chicago Rewired
• 8-10 p.m.: The Finns.
Saturday’s Around the Mound Car Show will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A drawing for $100 will be held every half-hour for registered car owners, who must be present to win. Altogether, $1,200 in cash will be given away.
More information about the car show is available by calling the South Charleston CVB at 304-746-5552.
Also during Summerfest, Movies $4 Less will present the recently released film “Aladdin” at the LaBelle Theater on D Street. Show times are 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, and 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17. Admission is $4 per patron.
Summerfest-goers can also purchase a keepsake T-shirt as a souvenir before or during their Summerfest visit. T-shirts are for sale at South Charleston City Hall.