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Tri-State celebrates July 4th holiday

Recreation
Jul. 03, 2011 @ 07:46 AM

HUNTINGTON -- There was something for everyone on Saturday at Harris Riverfront Park in Huntington.

Music from Steve Azar, Kala DeHart and Rivertown and The Whipps; 304 Wrestling; classic car show, lemonade, funnel cakes and shaved ice; and, of course, fireworks -- all part of 93.7 Dawg Dazzle.

"We're having a blast. There's plenty to do, that's for sure," said Hamlin resident Joseph Scarberry, whose 3-year-old son, Brayden, watched some wrestling while sitting on dad's shoulders. "But he's really waiting on the fireworks."

Along the river, boats were docked and filled with folks enjoying cold drinks under the sun while listening to the concerts. It's exactly what the park is for, said Huntington resident Penny Arthur, who was with a group of about 15 on three different boats.

"This is what makes Huntington," she said. "This right here is Huntington's biggest asset, and it's never been utilized to its potential. This is our history right here."

Mike Kirtner, president of Kindred Communications, said getting the company behind the event is an important part of being a community partner. 93.7 the Dawg started Dawg Dazzle seven years ago after the previous sponsor elected to not continue the event. For the first time in nearly two decades, Huntington did not have fireworks in 2004. Kirtner said that's when Kindred Communications stepped in.

"It's all community and all local. There's no outside corporate money," Kirtner said, citing assistance from the Cabell County Commission and the hospitals.

He said a staff of 20 full-time people pooled their efforts to organize Dawg Dazzle and was thrilled with the results.

"It's an ego boost," he said of the large crowd at the riverfront park. "But it's more than that. It's giving something back."

Brian Sipe, the general manager of the Big Sandy Superstore Arena, which manages Harris Riverfront Park, also was pleased to see thousands of people enjoying warm evening under clear skies.

He said some 3,000 people attended a concert there June 2 and hopes to schedule two or three more events at the riverfront before the fall.

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