Clear weather gives boost to Riverfront Roar

MARIETTA – The Marietta Riverfront Roar was in full swing Saturday afternoon, organizers said.

Front and Greene streets were lined with vendors, including those selling ice cream, food and custom shirts. The Marietta Fire Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Army had tents set up for those interested in learning about them.

Gary Williams, board of directors chairman for the roar, said although the crowd Friday night was scarce because of weather, Saturday was starting off well. Williams said there was a good crowd in the beer garden for the “Roar’s Got Talent” show after the rain cleared Friday night.

The South of The River Band from Parkersburg were warming up the crowd of afternoon visitors on Saturday.

“There a good crowd,” Williams said Saturday. “It’s been steady all day, and it will continue to grow the closer we get to the fireworks tonight.”

Williams said visitors would be treated to the beer garden, entertainment, a “great” fireworks show and a show given by the Columbus Zoo Saturday night.

Forrest and Robin Hawkins of Beverly said their favorite part about the roar was the music and concessions.

“It’s about the comradery and getting out and trying to do something,” Forrest said.

The pair have been to the event at least four times and said they were disappointed they wouldn’t see the boat races this year. They attended Friday evening before the rain came so they were back with the sunshine to see what Saturday had to offer.

Tanessa Pugh of Marietta said it was too bad the races had to be canceled; she is usually out on the water.

“I’m usually down in the river,” Pugh said. “But it’s too bad to go and take the boat out.”

Friend Kirstie Iadicicco of Marietta said she doesn’t participate in the water sport but usually likes to observe from afar. She said she is usually interested in getting a funnel cake and lemonade.

“We like the music,” Iadicicco said. “It’s such a nice day, we wanted to see what was happening.”

The two added they would probably grab a lemon shake up on the way out.

Tomorrow’s crowd can anticipate the Pioneer Corvette Club car show and the beer garden to be open until about 3 p.m. Sunday, Williams said.

“I think people are disappointed (about the boat races), but they understand,” Williams added. “Other than the fact we didn’t get any boats in the water it’s gone pretty well.”

MacKenzie Ullman was selling lemonade as part of one of the vendors Saturday, she said the business was spotty, but she was optimistic about her sales.

“It’s here and there,” Ullman said. “It’s going OK.”