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Triple S Celebration of America to feature socially distanced July 4th festivities

MORGANTOWN — It started with a phone call.

Triple S Harley-Davidson co-owner and Mylan Park Board member Cliff Sutherland told the Monongalia County Commission on Wednesday that he walked away from that brief conversation determined to bring a sense of normalcy back to the community while celebrating an important day in American history.

In short order, a free, multi-site, socially distanced and livestreamed evening of live music, baseball, family-friendly film and fireworks was born.

The Triple S Harley-Davidson Celebration of America will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on July 4 when the Davisson Brothers Band takes the stage at Triple S Harley Davidson.

That show will be limited capacity to adhere to social distancing guidelines. It will be available online and livestreamed to the video board at the new Mylan Park track facility. It will also be broadcast live on some 18 MetroNews country music stations across West Virginia, Sutherland said.

At Mylan Park, the day will begin in the afternoon with baseball played by teams formed after American Legion Baseball was canceled nationwide.

“The community wants to see that, whether it’s a pickup game or whether it’s a legion game,” Commissioner Sean Sikora said. “There are people who want to come out and see some baseball. There’s no professional baseball. There’s nothing.”

About the same time the Davisson Brothers hit the stage nearby, a kid-friendly film will roll  under the pavilion of the new Monongalia County Extension and 4-H Building, in Mylan Park.

All of the events will  limit capacity to observe social distancing.

At 9:45 p.m. a fireworks display will be launched from Mylan Park’s upper fields.

“The elevations show that it’s a great place to put them off. You have the business park across the street. You have WestRidge, which would actually be a great place to see. You have University Town Centre, Triple S, the Coliseum,” Sutherland said, explaining that the fireworks will also be livestreamed.

The initial plan was to incorporate the Monongalia County Ballpark into the evening, but concerns about COVID-19 restrictions and the location of the firework launch site scrapped that idea.

The commission will provide $5,000 to assist with the festivities.

“I’m just so excited,” Commissioner Tom Bloom said. “Cliff first called me with the concept, then kept calling almost every hour to say how it was expanding. I want the public to know this could not have been done without Cliff’s persistence … It started with a small idea and grew to ‘let’s involve everyone in the community.’ ”

Sutherland said additional information and marketing for the event will be unveiled in the coming days.

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