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Betty Zane Days festival to start Tuesday

MARTINS FERRY — The Betty Zane Days festival is set to take place nightly this Tuesday through Saturday at City Park, located along Zane Highway in Martins Ferry.

The annual affair is sponsored by and is a fundraiser for the Martins Ferry Volunteer Fire Department. It features carnival rides, musical entertainment, food stands, vendors, games for children, a beer garden and more.

The musical entertainment begins about 6 p.m. and includes:

∫ Tuesday — Tim Ullom and Jason Treuman;

∫ Wednesday — Clint and Brandi and MSM;

∫ Thursday — DJ Daner;

∫ Friday — Shannon Canterbury and Crazy Horse; and

∫ Saturday — Brighton Boys and Twice As Nice.

Saturday also will feature the VFD parade at about noon in the downtown with the Firefighter Water Battle to follow on Fourth Street near the Ladder Co. station. Cody Engleman, firefighter and chairman of the festival, said there will be hamburgers and hot dogs at the battle.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, the Guns vs. Hoses mush ball game will take place between police and firefighters at the ball field at City Park.

Engleman added he remembers attending the festival as a child and his favorite thing to do was to look at the fire engines and other equipment.

“I always hung around the fire truck,” he noted.

He said the VFD does not make much money on the event, but it is something nice to do for the children of the community.

“It’s happens once a year. It’s a little festival with rides and some good food from different vendors and great entertainment. It’s something for people to come out to and bring the kids and spend an evening,” added Martins Ferry VFD Chief Mike Cooper.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday is the annual Betty Zane Days 5K Run/Walk, which benefits Martins Ferry High School Athletics and the National Honor Society. The race begins and ends at City Park. Participants can register on race day.

Among the food vendors will be the Martins Ferry Chamber of Commerce’s sausage stand. Dorothy Powell, chamber executive director, said the chamber’s stand will offer German-style sausage sandwiches with sauerkraut or peppers and onions, as well as hot dogs.

She said the chamber began selling the sandwiches after it took over the stand in 2009 that was once owned by the Martins Ferry Rotary Club. When the club disbanded, the chamber got its stand and equipment.

“We’ve been doing Betty Zane Days ever since and enjoyed every minute of it,” Powell said. “It’s a long five days to have a food stand, but it’s also a good way to meet all the people who come to the park to celebrate Betty Zane Days. We’re happy to work with the volunteer fire department, which is the sponsor of Betty Zane. It’s a great five days come into Martins Ferry and visit our park with the food stands and entertainment every night.”

Powell said the chamber may pre-sell carnival ride tickets at its office on Zane Highway.

Those who would like to volunteer to help man the stand can call the chamber office at 740-633-2565 to be placed on the schedule.

The Martins Ferry Lions Club also will have a food stand open the entire week of the festival.

The festival is named after Betty Zane, a heroine of the Revolutionary War. In 1782 during an attack on Ft. Henry, Zane ran to retrieve gunpowder to replenish the American fighters who were under siege by British forces and American Indians.

Years later she moved to Martins Ferry and raised nine children.

On the heels of the July 26 tragedy involving a carnival ride at the Ohio State Fair, Engleman said the Betty Zane Days festival is using the same ride company it did last year — Nolan Amusements. He noted the festival could not make any guarantees about the safety of any company’s carnival rides, but he added there were “no incidents” with Nolan’s rides last year.

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