Cruises offer unique view of fireworks

One of the most popular parts of this weekend’s Parkersburg Homecoming Festival will be the fireworks show on Saturday evening.

Visitors will fill the downtown area to view the fireworks at 10 p.m. as they are shot from Fort Boreman Hill.

There are special programs available for those interested in viewing the fireworks from a different angle, including two offered by Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park in Parkersburg and one available through the Valley Gem Sternwheeler in Marietta, which offers a cruise down the Ohio River to view the display.

The Valley Gem fireworks cruise will be from 8 to 11 p.m. and includes the Captain’s Buffet dinner. The cost is $45 for adults, $43 for seniors and $35 for Children ages 3 to 12.

The “Island Fireworks Adventure” will be offered from 8:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday by Blennerhassett Island officials. Visitors will board the Island Belle sternwheeler at 7:45 p.m. at Civitan Park in Belpre for a trip to Blennerhassett Island. They will be able to view the fireworks from the island’s banks.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children ages 3 to 12. Visitors are urged to bring a flashlight and lawn chair or blanket for seating.

The island’s snack and gift shops will be open through the evening. Reservations are required by calling (304) 420-4800.

The other Blennerhassett Island program will be the “Family Fireworks Cruise” from 8 to 10:45 p.m., which will feature a cruise on the Island Belle during the fireworks, with the opportunity to watch the display from the boat’s deck.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for children ages 3 to 12. Space is limited and reservations are required.

For more information about either program, contact the park office at the Blennerhassett Museum at (304) 420-4800 or go online to