American pride on full display at Ripley’s July 4th Celebration

The United States’ “Largest Small Town Independence Day Celebration” brought full crowds down to Church Street in Ripley on Monday.
Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 7:04 PM EDT
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RIPLEY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The United States’ “Largest Small Town Independence Day Celebration” brought full crowds down to Church Street in Ripley Monday.

Festivities started with a moment of silence before a performance of the National Anthem where spectators paused to remember the three officers who died in Floyd County, Kentucky as well as the late Woody Williams, World War II’s last surviving Medal of Honor recipient, who served as the parade’s Grand Marshal last year.

Ripley Mayor Carolyn Rader said Ripley’s American pride is a longstanding tradition.

“We definitely stand on the shoulders of giants and those are the people who preceded us that exemplified what we truly believe,” she said. “We have had many giants in our community and they instill that love of country, family and Lord in our city.”

Ripley resident Mike Spiker served in the Army during the Vietnam War. He said Independence Day offers a chance to reflect on his service.

“Ripley supports the veterans as much as anyone, if not so more than anyone else,” he said. “If you’re a veteran you appreciate them understanding that when you spent your time in the service, they were giving your time to the country.”

Jeannie Scarberry came up from South Charleston to watch the parade. It’s a ritual that she said allows her more time with her grandchildren.

“This is a small town, loving, caring, everybody, family being together and celebrating the family, being together and the flag.”

Rader said the shared values throughout Ripley will keep the city on the forefront of national pride for years to come.

“I’m just excited about being an American, no one’s more proud than we are to proclaim we are America’s Largest Small-Town Independence DayCelebration and no one’s more proud than we are.”

A replica of the tomb of the unknown soldier will be on display in the showcase room of the former Chevrolet garage for free from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

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