Betty Zane Days plans progress

MARTINS FERRY The annual Betty Zane Days festival in Martins Ferry is a little more than a month away.

Put on by the Martins Ferry Fire Department, co-director’s Assistant Chief Mike Reese and Lieutenant Tom Regis are finalizing plans for the event.

The festival kicks off Tuesday, Aug. 6 and runs through Saturday, Aug. 10.

Deshler Amusements will again provide the carnival rides, with amusements getting under way at 6 p.m. nightly.

Presale tickets will soon be available for $10 apiece per day. Both the Chamber of Commerce office and Mayor Paul Riethmiller’s office will be selling tickets.

“People have taken advantage in the past and purchased pre-sale tickets. Ten bucks isn’t too bad if you get it ahead of time,” Reese said.

Reese also noted that one benefit from last summer’s storms that knocked down a number of trees in the city’s park enabled Deshler to bring in a few more large rides.

When the city went about planting new trees in the park, it kept the festival’s layout in mind to maximize ride space.

Live entertainment will take the pavillion stage nightly from 7-11 p.m. Reese noted the lineup is still pending, but D.J. Daner will be helping out this year, coordinating the lineup and providing music one night.

The car show has been canceled this year because of a lack of turnout but the increasingly popular mushball tournament will still be held.

Starting Aug. 5, the tournament will conclude with the championship game on Friday, Aug. 9. All games are at Fodor Park and there is a $75 entry fee per team.

Saturday, Aug. 10 will be the annual showdown between the Martins Ferry Police and Fire Departments. This game, now in its third year, has been dominated thus far by the police department, although the 2012 rendition saw the fire department come up just short at 2-1.

Wednesday evening will feature the annual 5K run and walk race.

A Betty Zane Parade will kick off Saturday’s events at noon, with lineup taking place at 11 a.m. The parade route will end at the Ladder Company satation.

Following the parade, the annual water battle between area fire departments will be held on S. 4th St.

The water battle pits teams from area fire departments against one another in a double elimination tournament. The two teams go head-to-head in trying to use their fire hoses to blast a keg with water across the other team’s line.

Bridgeport’s Fire Department won in 2012, defeating Cumberland Trail in the finals.

Reese is expecting another good turnout, provided the weather holds. He noted a few days last year were light in attendance, thanks to rain, but overall, the city’s residents and citizens from the surrounding area always turn out for Betty Zane Days.

It’s the fire department’s largest fundraiser, along with its upcoming steak fry on Aug. 31.

For more information or to register for the tournaments, contact Reese at (740) 296-0115 or Regis at (740) 296-0123

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