CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The City of Clarksburg hosted First Fridays, featuring several artists, at the Clarksburg Community Action Building Friday.

First Fridays bicycle parade.

The city hosted a bicycle parade where kids could decorate their bicycles and show off their Independence Day spirit. Those who participated were also able to enter to win a new bicycle. The Clarksburg History Museum also featured a special display of antique bicycles.

“One of the board members of the museum board came up with the idea of a bicycle parade. He saw it in another state, and we thought it would be a fun activity, a different activity that never been done that we know about in any way, at least for a long time,” said Michael Spatafore, president of the Clarksburg History Museum and co-chair of the First Friday’s Committee.

Craft vendors and live music from The Top Shelf were held at Jackson Square, Orpheum Park and Court Street. The Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library also held a self-guided “StoryWalk” and Friends of the Library Mini Book Sale.

“We have two main goals, to have a family friendly activity in downtown Clarksburg, and the second goal is to get people downtown so that they can visit our local businesses and restaurants and see all the stuff we have downtown,” Spatafore said.

Ben Woods, Clarksburg Fire Department hot dog eating contest champion.

As part of First Fridays celebration, a hot dog eating contest was held in the parking lot of the Clarksburg Baptist Church in downtown Clarksburg. Committee members of Clarksburg First Fridays stated that they thought it would be fun to get the first responders involved in a competition.

Ritzy Lunch hosted a hot dog eating contest featuring several first responder’s contestants who are battling for the bragging rights for their department. The contestant who ate the most hot dogs was crowned the “Big Dog.”

“It’s great to be able to do this, to get the community down here and get them together and to be able to thank the first responders for what they do for us and the community. But It’s very exciting to be able to give back to the community and also show our appreciation for what they do for us,” said Antonio Selario, owner of Ritzy Lunch in Clarksburg. “It is our pleasure to be able to give back and to bring people together and show everyone what we have in Clarksburg, in downtown, and to get more people downtown here in Clarksburg.”

Ben Woods of the Clarksburg Fire Department was named the champion eater, eating more than a dozen whole hot dogs in 10 minutes.

“Hot dog eating contest goes with the Fourth of July, you know, the Nathan Hot Dog eating contest at Coney Island is famous. Just hot dogs and Fourth of July all go together and it’s something that we want to start here and have it yearly,” said Jerry Riffle, co-chair of the First Friday’s Committee and Clarksburg City Council member.

Riffle said that there was a lot of trash-talking and some good competitiveness among the first responders in the hot dog eating contest. A large gathering of people joined in on the fun cheering on their favorite first responder in the contest.