Wooden baseball bat and baseball laying on a baseball field.

Beast of The East Kicks Off July 4th Events in Belmont County

Baseball is back in Belmont County as the 33rd Annual Beast of the East Tournament returns July 1-4.

July 4th weekend typically means cookouts, family-get-togethers, and fireworks. In the Ohio Valley, this time of year also means baseball!

This year will mark the return of the 33rd Annual Beast of the East youth baseball tournament, which attracts more than 100 teams from around the country and Canada to the Ohio Valley. From July 1-4 games will be played on school and park fields throughout Belmont County including Barnesville, Belmont, Bellaire, Bridgeport, Martins Ferry, Morristown, Neffs, Shadyside, and St. Clairsville.

The Beast of the East is a tradition in the Ohio Valley. It all started in 1988 at West Liberty University with 21 teams. The tournament has had as many as 126 teams and utilized every field in the Valley. The annual tournament brings hundreds of visitors to the area and benefits players, coaches, fans, communities and businesses.

Games are held for 12U, 14U, 16U and 19U with a 6-8 game guarantee (weather permitting) for 12U and a 7-9 game guarantee for the other brackets.

What makes the Beast of the East Tournament unique is the Baseball Showcase in which players get a chance to be seen and evaluated by college coaches and professional baseball scouts. Players who participate are evaluated by pro scouts on running speed, arm strength, fielding, pitching, catching, and batting. Click here to register and for more info.

While in the area for the Beast of the East, check out Independence Day events in Barnesville, Belmont, Flushing, and St. Clairsville. Celebrate with old-fashioned events such an ice cream social, bike parade, chicken BBQ, and of course – FIREWORKS!

Zion Retreat and RV Park in Flushing is hosting Fireworks at the Beach on Friday, July 2, beginning at 4 pm. Enjoy Zion’s beach, aqua zipline, concessions, and fireworks at dusk. Public entry to the event is $10 for adults and $5 for ages 10 and under. Call (740) 968-0955 to make an RV or cabin reservation for the weekend.

On July 3 in St. Clairsville, the Ohio National Road Association will unveil a new National Road Mile Marker in front of the Belmont County Courthouse on Main Street in an effort to preserve the history of America’s first federally-funded highway for years to come. The event begins at 10 am with the unveiling ceremony.

At 10:45 am, celebrate Independence Day with a children’s bike parade starting in front of the courthouse. Participants are encouraged to decorate their bikes, scooters, wagons, etc. with red, white, and blue. Main Street will be closed to traffic during the parade. Lineup begins at 10:45 am and the parade will conclude at 11 am. Prizes will be awarded for “Best Decorated.”

At 11:30 am, there will be a parade of historical persons including Abraham Lincoln, Betsy Ross, and George Washington. There will be free refreshments.

The Belmont County Heritage Museum, 101 E. Main St., will be open for tours form 10am-4pm. Stop by to learn more about the historic National Road and enjoy displays that represent the heritage and history of Belmont County with artifacts dating back to the 1800s.

Author William Flood will have a book signing for his latest publication “Driving the National Road & Route 40 in Ohio – Then and Now” in front of the museum until 4 pm.

Also on Saturday, July 3, the Friends of Barkcamp will host and ice cream social from 2-4 pm in the Mail Pouch Barn area at Barkcamp State Park, 65330 Barkcamp Park Rd., Belmont. They will be offering root beer floats and ice cream with sprinkles for $2. There will also be games for kids. All proceeds will go toward the park playground and other improvements.

On Saturday, July 3 the Barnesville Area Chamber of Commerce will have their annual Chicken BBQ fundraiser at the Mother’s Club Shelter in Barnesville Memorial Park from 11am – 2pm (or until sold out). The cost is $10. To place an order call (740) 425-4300. There will be a live remote with 93BNV with prize giveaways.

The BBQ will kick-off Barnesville’s Independence Day celebration that day that includes food vendors and concessions all day; a free swim in the park pool from 12-6pm; live musical entertainment in the park amphitheater beginning at 2:30 pm with Valley Sphinx, the First Christian Church Band from 4-5 pm; Flushed from 5:30-7:30 pm, and Shamrock Entertainment at 7:30 pm. The day will conclude with fireworks at dusk. The rain date for the fireworks is July 10.

Barnesville Memorial Park will also host the 13U Firecracker Classic baseball tournament July 2-4.

For more information about these and other fun summer events in Belmont County, follow Belmont County Tourism on social media and subscribe to our newsletter.