River Days Festival ends with a bang

By Wayne Allen

September 3, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

According to River Days Chairman Trent Williams, the 51st annual River Days Festival proceeded with out a hitch and plans will soon be underway for the planing of next year’s festival.

“This year went much better than the weather was telling us it was likely going to,” Williams said. “Overall the different parts of the festival went really well. I’ve heard really good things about pageant. I know we had all good contestants there and it looks like we picked some outstanding winners.”

Crowned Miss River Days was Alexis Commeans who represented Minford Schools. Crowned first runner up to Miss River Days was Jerusha Durham from Clay High School and third runner up was Natalie Marasek of Portsmouth West High School.

When asked what it was like to be crowned Miss River Days Commeans said, “Being crowned Miss River Days has been such an honor. This is the 50th year of the pageant so I am the 50th queen. It has been 37 years since Minford (Schools) has had a queen. It feels good to bring the crown back to Minford.”

Durham said being crowned first runner up was one of the greatest feeling she has had, “All of the hard work really did pay off.”

Marasek shared her feelings as well.

“Words can’t express how excited I was to be crowned,” she said. “I was so surreal to me and still is today. I can’t believe it.”

All three of the girls said there was a heavy heart over the pageant with the situation of Kalyn Mitchell. Mitchell is in Nationwide Children’s Hospital being treated for a possible case of bacterial meningitis. As of Monday morning, Mitchell’s condition was still listed as critical.

“We all love Kalyn and she is just a great outgoing girl. She is in all of our prayers and we just wish the best for her,” Commeans said.

Williams also wished Mitchell a speedy recovery on behalf of the River Days Committee.

“Being a River Days contestant is a big commitment of time, money and effort throughout the entire year, just to get to this weekend. Mitchell became seriously ill and that’s never good. Given all of the hard work she’s put in over the last year makes the situation particularly sad,” Williams said.

Williams said some of the highlights of this year’s festival included a performance by Phil Dirt & The Dozers on Thursday night as well as the baby/tiny/little/junior/teen Miss River Days Pageant.

He said highlights for Friday included the annual Rotary Fish Fry held on the Roy Rogers Esplanade. Other highlights included, Buckeye State Sanctioned Pedal Tractor Pulls and a performance by the Kentucky Headhunters.

Williams said the River Days grand parade is always a highlight on Saturdays of the festival. Other highlights from that day included the 50th Miss River Days Pageant and a performance from the group Restless Heart on the river front stage.

On Sunday highlights included a performance from the group Cook & Belle along with the SOMC Fireworks Extravaganza.

For more information about the annual River Days Festival visit

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.