By Wayne Towner
Special to the Times
PARKERSBURG -The headliners for this year's Parkersburg Homecoming Festival will bring a touch of classic country and rock 'n' roll to downtown Parkersburg from Aug. 15-17 with performances by Restless Heart, Almost Queen: A Tribute to Queen and The Guess Who.
Homecoming officials held a press conference Tuesday at the Judge Black Annex on Market Street, including Michael Kelemen, director of government relations for Suddenlink Communications, which has sponsored the main stage program for the past six years.
"It's a really good lineup this year. We're ecstatic to be a part of the program and the Homecoming. Over the past six years, it's really grown tremendously from where it was at one point. We're really happy to be a part of that," Kelemen said.
Officials introduced Sherry Valentine as this year's Homecoming president. Valentine replaced former director Cyndie Wade, who withdrew for personal and family reasons earlier this year.
Valentine has been involved with Homecoming since 2009, handling Rubber Ducky ticket sales and running the Junior Miss pageant.
"I'm actually really excited to do that," she said of taking over the leadership position for this year's event. "Somebody had to take the reins. I'm actually pretty excited and ready to get this going.
"I hope that everybody comes out and joins us this year. I think it's going to be a great Homecoming and I hope everyone enjoys themselves," Valentine said.
The Friday night act on the Suddenlink Stage will be veteran country band Restless Heart, best known for a string of hits from the late 1980s through the early 1990s.
The Grammy-winning group remains active over 27 years after signing its first recording contract in 1984 and releasing its first album the following year. The band features Larry Stewart, Dave Innis, Greg Jennings, Paul Gregg and John Dittrich. Their hits include "I'll Still Be Lovin' You," "Why Does It Have to B (Wrong or Right)," "Bluest Eyes in Texas" and "Dancy's Dream."
Saturday night's headliners will be "Almost Queen: A Tribute to Queen" featuring performers Joseph Russo, Steve Leonard, John Cappadonna and Randy Gregg. Russo is a veteran of several Broadway productions and the members have toured with Thin Lizzy, Dee Snider and Angel. The three-day Homecoming will conclude that Sunday night with a performance by classic rockers The Guess Who. The Canadian band is known for 14 Top 40 hits, two of which went to number one.