Park Day to be held on Market Street

PARKERSBURG – A portion of Market Street in downtown Parkersburg will be transformed into a festival during the 2013 Park Day Celebration on Sept. 14.

Sponsored by the Parkersburg Bicycle Advisory Board, the event will run from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Market Street with activities, decorated areas and other attractions. Market Street will be closed from Sixth to Eighth streets with through-traffic permitted on Seventh Street during the event.

Park Day is an international event that encourages people to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into public parks and other social spaces. In place of cars, people are encouraged to come ride, skate, jump, play and dance in the street.

Among the planned activities are a kids play zone, a bike rodeo, a fitness challenge, a food tour featuring a walking tour of downtown restaurants, a family-friendly tailgate party for the West Virginia University football game, guided bike tours, live music and the Pocket Park Contest.

For the Pocket Park Contest, groups are encouraged to design a small park that will fit in a metered parking space on Market Street. To participate in the contest, each park must have three design elements: a mock-up bike rack with a lockable surface, directional signage to a location in downtown Parkersburg and landscaping of some type.

A panel of judges will visit each park and the winner will receive a $100 cash prize. Design elements from the winning park will be taken into consideration when new landscaping or bike facilities are installed in the city.

To participate in the Pocket Park Contest, visit www.parkersburgparkday.com where contestants can download an information guide and application. For more information about the contest, contact Ricky Yeager at 304-424-8558 or email rmyeager@parkersburg-wv.com. Applications will be accepted through Sept. 9.

Another part of this year’s Park Day will be a community art project involving old and unused bicycles. Volunteers have been working to decorate bicycles and several are currently on display in the Parkersburg Art Center at Eighth and Market streets until Park Day, when they will be displayed outside during the event.

The art center is open to the public from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Daily admission is $2 per person, with no charge for art center members or children under 12.

Park Day organizers are also working with RESA 5 and Wood County Schools to hold Foot Power, a bike rodeo and safety fair, during the Sept. 14 event.

Foot Power related activities will take place in the Highmark West Virginia parking lot on Sixth Street between Market and Avery streets. All activities are free and open to the public.

The program is designed to educate students and their families on a variety of topics, including basic outdoor safety, CPR and general bicycle safety. The rodeo consists of different stations which teach a specific skill and safety technique. Topic areas include riding straight while avoiding potholes, entering the street from a driveway, crossing busy streets and being aware of road hazards.

To participate in Foot Power, students must bring their bike and wear a helmet. If a child doesn’t have a helmet, they can be purchased at the event for $9 and a limited number of helmets will be given away to children 16 years and younger who have a Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program Card. Students planning to participate should wear closed-toe shoes.

While everyone who completes the Bike Rodeo course can register to win a free bike, the first 150 students to do so will also receive a free informational bag.

For more information about Park Day 2013, go to www.parkersburgparkday.com and the city’s website at www.parkersburgcity.com. Information also is on the city’s Facebook page.