Beverly-Waterford Homecoming

Sue Trotter remembers it as an opportunity to whirl around on the rides and take part in a cake walk.

When he was a boy, American Legion Commander and business owner Steven Wainwright, said it was the first time he ever got to experience carnival rides. His mother would drop him off at Dodge Park and he would have fun all day.

Some of that nostalgia still exists at the Beverly-Waterford Homecoming, which will start at 6 p.m. today with a parade leaving Waterford Elementary School, winding through Waterford and Beverly and ending at Dodge Park in Beverly.

Citizens Bank in Beverly has had a presence in the parade for a long time. Usually, several employees get together and walk with a vehicle emblazoned with the bank name.

“It’s always nice to get the community together,” said Elizabeth Tennent, 27, of Hackney. Tennent works at the bank and is president of the Beverly-Waterford Chamber of Commerce.

Honored as the Homecoming parade’s grand marshal is Warren E. Gillard, of 512 Dietz Lane, Beverly. He is a World War II veteran who helped train the first Navy Seals before his retirement from the Navy in 1949.

The 67th annual event, started right after World War II, Wainwright said, has the rides, food and live entertainment the homecoming-goers seem to enjoy every year.

“It’s neat for young mom and dads to bring (their children) to the park and let them ride the rides and get them cotton candy,” Wainwright said.

New to the event this year will be a tractor pull to take place at 4 p.m. Saturday right on Sixth Street next to the park.

Also, Wainwright said the Ferris wheel will return to the homecoming midway.

Trotter, a member of the Lower Muskingum Historical Society, said the Homecoming used to be a fundraiser for the Beverly Lions and the Russell Chadwick Post of the American Legion. Now, it’s the four parts of the American Legion family: American Legion, Auxiliary, Legions Riders and Sons of the Legion.

Those organizations give money to community projects, Trotter said. They also conduct a poker run in the fall to raise money for education and RIF (Reading is Fundamental) and buy flags for public buildings, such as banks and the library.

Entertainment runs from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at the park’s pavilion. The Sunderman Family and The Stockey Family will perform tonight. Tracy Nichols and Justin Arthur take the stage Friday, and Sam Clark and Friends will perform Saturday night.