Village gears up for funday

Published 10:08 am Tuesday, June 28, 2011

COAL GROVE — Family Fun Days in Coal Grove this weekend may have a decidedly athletic feel to it and for good reason: two former pro football stars will be on hand to sign autographs and sell mementos.

Joe Hammond, who, as Buffalo Joe, has had a sports-themed vendor booth at Family Fun Days for the past four years, said Monday this year he is bringing with him former Cincinnati Bengals players Pete Johnson and Ickey Woods. Both men will sign autographs from 2 p.m. until dark Sunday.

Johnson, a second round draft pick in 1977, played for the Bengals until 1984 and played one year for the Miami Dolphins. Johnson played in two Superbowls and is a member of the Buckeye Hall of Fame.

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Woods, also known as “The Shuffleman” because of his famous touchdown “Ickey Shuffle,” was a second-round draft pick when the Bengals got him in 1988. Although his career was ended prematurely because of a knee injury, Woods still managed to rack up the most rushing touchdowns ever by a Bengal.

Johnson will donate his profits to football camps for autistic and Down Syndrome children. Woods will donate his profits to an asthma foundation named in memory of his son, Elbert Jovante Woods, who died of an asthma attack last year.

“These are great guys,” Hammond said.

Family Fun Days begins at 4 p.m. Friday at Paul Porter Park with a welcome by Mayor Larry McDaniel, a flag presentation by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Anthem sung by Chris Laber. Immediately afterward, Emily Vance will perform, followed by Hanna Ferguson at 5 p.m., Southern Thunder at 6 p.m. and The Whips at 8 p.m.

On Saturday Katie Owens begins the entertainment lineup with a 4 p.m. concert, followed by Derailed at 5 p.m., Bill McDaniel at 7 p.m. and Tyler Waller at 8:30.

On Sunday, Truth and Nails begins the evening’s entertainment with a performance at 4 p.m. The annual cake and pie auction will follow at 5 p.m. At 6 p.m. Bridgett Reynolds will perform, followed by The Fugitives at 7 p.m. and Craig Haney at 9 p.m.

Throughout the event there will be food booths, games for the kids and other activities.

The grand finale of the Family Fun Days is always the fireworks display at 10 p.m. Sunday.

Family Fun Days is sponsored annually by the village and the Coal Grove Betterment Club.