NESLONVILLE, Ohio (WOUB) — Hundreds filled the parking lot at Hocking College and even more poured into surrounding neighborhoods to watch this year’s Thunder in the Valley fireworks festival in Nelsonville.
The event drew people from ten minutes up the road to three hours away and further.
“I’ve been coming down to this area for 40 years,” Mark VanSickle of Holmes County said. “It’s just a beautiful area. Great people.”
This year’s show drew more people as COIVD restrictions have been rolled back.
“Last Fourth of July was pretty depressing,” said Andy Webber, who rode his e-bike from Athens to attend. “Tonight, I was chilling at my house and said ‘Yeah, I’ll go out and see the fireworks tonight.’”
This year’s Thunder in the Valley was dedicated to the fallen Nelsonville Division of Fire Senior Firefighter Jeff Armes and his family. Armes had been involved in organizing the event since 2010 and had been the lead pyrotechnician since 2016.
Andy Webber leans against a train car while watching the grand finale at Thunder in the Valley. [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]
Trevor Workman, left, 6, plays with sparklers with his family while waiting for the fireworks to start. This was the Workman family’s first time bringing their children to Thunder in the Valley. [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]
Emilee Estill, top left, and her sister, Olivia, top right, laugh while playing with glowing balloons in the back of the truck while their grandparents, Mark, bottom left, and Donna VanSickle watch a cornhole game. “We drove 3 hours to get here,” said Mark. [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]
Raelyn Lucas, 5, third from the left, buys glowsticks from Madison Schmidt. “I’ve been coming down here since I was a kid, actually,” said Madison. “My dad’s been selling glowsticks for a long time, and we usually go to a few places on the fourth.” [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]
Lucas Williams, 5, bottom left, play fights with his mother’s boyfriend, Tyler Schuler, while fireworks explode overhead. [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]
Fireworks explode over the pond outside the front of Hocking College. [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]
Festival attendees purchase food and beverages at one of many mobile food stalls that were located adjacently to the main viewing area. [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]