All invited to Ferry picnic

MARTINS FERRY The second annual Picnic in the Park set for June 8 is expected to exceed last year’s kickoff in range of activities and volume of participation, and continue to celebrate all that Martins Ferry has to offer.

Council clerk Lee Anne Cleary, who has taken up a leadership role with husband and council Mmmber Chris Cleary, said they have planned to expand the artistic aspect and market. She noted the MITCH Collective will hold the Insta-Tangram steamrolling Project from 2-4 p.m. and the Oglebay Institute’s Hot Glass Road Show will hold a live glassblowing demonstration noon-6 p.m.

“Because Martins Ferry has a rich history of glassmaking, we thought that tied in wonderfully with the history of the city,” she said.

They have also expanded on children’s games, with inflatable rides, face painting, and canvas tote bag decoration for the first 100 children.

Entertainment will include performances by Cora Mae Edge, Hit Play, The Rockin’ Brits, and Matt Van Fossen.

The event is intended to offer fun activities for families and the community, as well as a celebration of the city’s history where all organizations are invited to participate. New residents of Martins Ferry are invited to the events and see their city with new eyes.

The picnic will begin at noon with a program dedicated to the police department, which will celebrate their 125th anniversary. The program will include a performance by the Martins Ferry High School Band.

Visitors are also encouraged to visit the American Legion Hall across the street from the city park to view photos and memorabilia on display from the Martins Ferry Historical Society, the Martins Ferry Hall of Honor, the Picnic in the Park Committee and featuring the Civil War Round Table.

Representatives from the Round Table will discuss Morgan’s Raid. The displays will be open for the duration of the picnic. Anyone with pictures of Martins Ferry’s past who would like them to be part of the display may contact Cleary at (740) 633-0635.

Tours of Walnut Grove Cemetery will be provided from 2-5 p.m. by students from Martins Ferry High School in period costume. Free transportation will be available to and from the cemetery from the city park on the Belmont County Senior Services van. Tours will depart from the City Park on the hour from 2-5 p.m. Thanks went to Senior Services for free use of the van.

The Picnic in the Park Committee is also asking any additional artisans and food vendors interested in becoming part of the event to e-mail For more information, visit the Web site at Applications for artists and food vendors are available for download.

50/50 tickets are available from committee members throughout the day of the picnic with the drawing being held at 6 p.m. at the band stand in the city park.

Cleary noted the outpouring of support from the schools, organizations and businesses. Thanks also went to the Belmont County Tourism Council for providing a grant of $2,000.

Mayor Paul Riethmiller added that renovations to the water fountain as a centerpiece of the park should be completed in time for the event. He noted the growth and popularity of the picnic.

“It’s really blossomed from year one to year two,” he said.

He noted that the park has been the showcase of town and played host to events including the Easter Egg Hunt, Trick or Treat in the Park, and the upcoming Lions Club yard sale June 1.

Anyone wishing to utilize the park for a function may do so free of charge. Contact the mayor’s office at (740) 633-2876.

DeFrank can be reached at