MARTINS FERRY - Organizers of the annual Betty Zane Days Festival couldn't have been happier after the first day of the week-long event in the Purple City.
The first of five days went smoothly, with only one minor incident reported.
"Good opening night crowd," said co-chairman Tom Regis. "The carnival is running smoothly and the food vendors are all happy.
"We just pray that the weather holds up. It doesn't look good for Friday."
Activities continue tonight at the City Park as the 5K Run/Walk gets started at approximately 6:30. Live entertainment will also be provided tonight.
"We're really excited about the race," Regis added. "It's one of our biggest attractions."
According to city police, only one minor fight involving a pair of juveniles occurred. It was quickly broken up and both parties were taken to the police department for questioning.
Martins Ferry Mayor Paul Riethmiller said the history of the festival is what makes it special.
"It looks like this week we are going to be blessed with some nice weather which should bring the people out. The one thing is, this is all for the Martins Ferry Volunteer Fire Department. They have put a lot of time and effort into this, but this is the type of thing that they have to do in a small community to raise funds to purchase new helmets, new coats and such.
"The citizens of Martins Ferry and everyone else that visits the festival need to be aware of that," he continued. "They need to come out and support this event. I know that times are tough, but we appreciate all the people that come here and spend their money."
The second annual Mush Ball Tournament continues at Fodor Field at 6:30. The final game last night went into extra innings as Larry's edged the Steel Mill Bar N Grill, 3-2, in 13 innings.
Festival-goers can enjoy a variety of food, while there are plenty of games and rides for the children.
The Betty Zane Days parade and water battle will be held Saturday at noon. The parade lineup is at 11:00 a.m. in front of Jacobs Meats on Center Street. The water battle is open to all for departments.
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