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Streetscape celebration planned for today

by Jim Fisher

STAFF WRITER

CLARKSBURG -- Martha and The Vandellas probably won't be in Clarksburg today, but city leaders hope there will be plenty of "dancin' in the streets" to celebrate the dedication of the streetscape project.

The dedication gala begins at 10 a.m. with the presentation of U.S. flags by VFW Post 573.

Other activities planned during the day include an open house at the newly renovated Clarksburg Central Fire Station at noon. Also, a war monument recently moved from the Nathan Goff Armory to the Municipal Building will be re-dedicated.

The Fire Department will be giving fire truck rides from 3-6 p.m. Riders will be picked up in front of the courthouse and are asked to bring a can of food for charity.

The official ribbon-cutting ceremony is slated to begin at 6 p.m. with a huge ribbon stretched across Main Street near the Municipal Building.

Downtown merchants and eateries also will be participating in the function by staying open later to accommodate the expected crowds and setting up a street café.

Also today, Clarksburg Baptist Church, Christ Episcopal Church and Ritzy Lunch are hosting their second Family Biker Night in the parking lot across from the restaurant.

The family night is an outgrowth of Ritzy's regular Thursday biker night, said David Hulme, associate pastor at Clarksburg Baptist. The idea was to do something for the families, he said, and was the brainchild of Ritzy owner John Selario and Annette Crislip, former youth director at the church.

Aside from simply inviting out bikers and their families, several activities are planned, Hulme said. Food and soft drinks will be available, as well as vendors, games, a live band and a disc jockey. A biker's rodeo begins about 7 p.m. and the Clarksburg Fire Department will be offering fire truck rides.

Although it wasn't planned to coincide with the city's streetscape celebration, Hulme said the two events complement each other well.

"We'll be encouraging people to go up there and I'm sure we'll get some people down here, too," he said. "There will be a lot of people in downtown Thursday."

Last year's Family Biker Night drew about 500 people and 250 bikes, Hulme said. He expects this year's night to be about the same, if not bigger.

Organizers expect such a large turnout that they have gotten permission from the city to close West Pike Street from Fourth Street to the parking lot, as well as Sixth Street.

"Everyone is welcome, obviously, but the church is doing this primarily for the bikers and their families," he said.

Family Bike Night runs from 6-9 p.m.

Staff writer Jim Fisher can be reached at 626-1446 or by e-mail at jfisher@exponent-telegram.com