Newport Area News and Views, Volume VIII, July 200
Traditional Festivities Mark July 4 Weekend
Beginning July 4, 1952, on the Art Lane Farm and continuing into the new Millennium, local farmers have enjoyed displaying the talents of their ponies and horses at the Holiday “Pull.” Although the event has been moved twice – from the Lane Farm to the Lower Eightmile Park, and four years ago to the William Bowersock Farm on County Nine in Newport Township, it has remained an event for families to get together and visit friends, eat chicken and noodle dinner, and watch the horses perform. Little Muskingum Grange sponsors the event and according to Sam Kidd, the Grange Master, this has been a tradition through the years, and it is a time when people who do not see each other except on this day can get together. Kidd said he feels that what began as a contest among hometown farmers fro “bragging rights” has come to attract pullers from a larger area. Teams at this year’s pull came from Guysville, Ohio; West Virginia; and the winner in the “heavy” class was from Pennsylvania. Kidd feels that it was a real nice turnout for the annual event which raises money for youth involvement activities and community service projects. He said they try to include activities which will provide fun for all ages – county Store, raffle, contests – and the Bowersock farm is nestled between Co. Rd.9 and the “creek” where many of the kids were playing.
In keeping with local “tradition,” the Newport Firemen’s Annual Parade began winding its way through the village promptly at 11:00a.m. on July 4. Streets were lined with parade watchers and kids with loot bags ready for the candy raining down from the parade vehicles. Fire trucks, pickups loaded with ball teams, horseback riders, motorcycles, convertibles carrying political candidates, and even a “surrey with the fringe on top” were in the parade this year. The parade was followed by the famous “water battle” and entertainment by vocal groups was provided throughout the day until closing at 10:00 p.m. with a drawing for $1000.00. Mother Nature did provide some rather colorful “heat lightening” in the area, but no loud thunder. Setting off fire works has become a rather strictly regulated procedure. Only qualified licensed individuals, who have been certified by the State can legally do it. Also, there are State mandated rules regarding storing fireworks prior to the display, and regarding preparing a safe area to light them.
The Fire Department has plans in motion to permit them to have a fireworks display in 2001. Just our of curiosity, we would like to take a poll of the residents to find out 1) do we need fireworks; 2) could “cash” drawings replace fireworks in the future”” Send opinions to “Newsletter,” P O box 617, Newport, OH or call 473-2898 after 6:00 p.m. LET US KNOW!! Maybe our day could be 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. – people who cannot live without fireworks could travel to Marietta to see the 10:00 p.m. display there!