by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor

Tri State Fair & Regatta  began as a three city summer party funded mostly by the corporate office of Ashland Oil . It's chief rival : Charleston's Sternwheel Regatta.

Huntington's edition had the name Summerfest It was a ten day lounging, meeting, greeting, and partying in Harris Riverfront Park with boat races, concessions, and a mix of rock and country music solidly anchored by oldies favorites such as The Drifters The free vacation without leaving the city often had people talking and cuddling to the morning's wee hours.

As crowds started dipping, organizers decided to slap an entry fee on the merriment. That was the end of Summerfest. The hang out and open to all had a price barrier which altered and turned off patrons, who already paid for concessions and carnival rides.

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams has hinted strongly he would like to see the tradition revived It will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July  25-27.  Power boat racing will highlight and entertainment will be contemporary Christian (Friday) and rock (Saturday)

Sponsors have put in their support. Volunteers will run the operation. If those organizing and operating the fest received a fee, the party could not be FREE.