Comic Expo and Savor Saturday events pack downtown Parkersburg

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Ashley Schoonover, left, and her daughters Hannah, middle, and Breanna, right, were passing the time before the costume contest in the gaming area.

PARKERSBURG — Two events worked hand in hand in downtown Saturday.

First was the fifth annual Classic Plastics Toy and Comic Expo, which began Saturday and will conclude today at the Parkersburg Art Center in downtown Parkersburg.

Tony Workman, owner of Classic Plastic Toys, said the event has grown from the first one in a church fellowship hall to filling almost all of the art center at Eighth and Market streets. The expo will be open from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. today at the art center. Admission is $5 at the door with children 10 and under admitted free.

“We have 80 tables set up and about 50 to 60 separate vendors,” Workman said Saturday afternoon.

In Saturday’s second event, food was on center stage with the third annual Savor Saturday program featuring 12 downtown eateries offering small samples of their best dishes.

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Mumzy Richards, of Parkersburg, showed off one of the Cosplay costumes she came up with at the Classic Plastics Toy and Comic Expo.

Wendy Shriver, executive director of Downtown PKB, said the day started out strong and stayed pretty steady into the early afternoon.

“This morning there was a line waiting to get in at the expo,” she said. “We had people at a table there handing out maps to the restaurants to encourage people to stay downtown.

“People are liking the food.”

Zach and Sierra Cumpston, of Mineral Wells, were playing some of the board games at the expo in the basement level of the art center.

“We go to J&M, the bookstore, to play mostly,” she said. “We thought we’d come in and check out what was happening and play the games too.”

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Todd Lewis, left, and Jacob Arnott, middle, talk with Jackson Hartenstine, right, of Parkersburg, at the Classic Plastics Toy and Comic Expo at the Parkersburg Art Center on Saturday.

Ashley Schoonover and her daughters, Hannah and Breanna, were passing the time for the costume contest in the gaming area.

“They came for the cosplay event,” Ashley said. “I’m the mom, along for the ride.”

Hannah came as from “Overwatch” and Breanna was Blair, from “Soul Leader.”

Todd Lewis and Jacob Arnott, of Third Floor Comics, said they had several DC and Marvel comics at the expo and several other figurines. They said the interest in comics has been growing over the past few years.

“All the movies and television has been part of the growth,” Lewis said. “It’s has definitely influenced.”

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Charleen Flinner, of Parkersburg, and her grandson Charles Alman, of Pittsburgh, decided to take advantage of the mild weather and had their plantains outside Saturday.

Alicia Smith, floor manager at Mango Latin Bistro, said they were having a great day with the Savor Saturday event. She said they offered plantains

“We offered two samples of plantains,” she said. “It looks like a giant banana and is from the banana family. When it’s cooked it’s more like a vegetable, when it’s green we cut it into small pieces, mash it and it’s more like a potato chip. When it’s ripe it’s more like an over-ripe banana, we fry that and the sugar caramelizes and it’s almost like a fried banana.”

Charleen Flinner, of Parkersburg, and her grandson Charles Alman, of Pittsburgh, tried the plantains.

“We like the plantains. I’ve always wanted to stop here and never got around to it,” she said. “We went to the expo and decided to try some of the food. This is the second one we tried.”

Kaitlyn McKitrick and Mike Tortolon, of Parkersburg, were at The Coffee Bar trying out the half chicken salad sandwich.

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Michael Church and Johnny Miller, both of Belpre, came to the Classic Plastics Toy and Comic Expo for the Cosplay contest as Bonnie and Freddie of “Five Nights at Freddies.”

“We are going to hit every restaurant,” Tortolon said. ” I think we have three left.”

“We are definitely doing that,” McKitrick said. “I like DiCarlo’s too, it was good.”

Shannon Hartshorn, co-owner of DiCarlo’s, said they had a lot of traffic at their new Juliana Street location.

“It’s been getting us a new customer base,” she said. “A lot of people are coming by to check out the new store.”

Hartshorn said their offerings were pepperoni rolls and cheese and pepperoni pizzas.

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Zach and Sierra Cumpston, of Mineral Wells, played board games Saturday during the Classic Plastics Toy and Comic Expo.

Marvin Edwards, with Point Park Marketplace, said all the restaurants in the building were part of the event with pizza, wine, cupcakes and other foods.

“It’s been a good event for us,” Edwards said.

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Lydia Cobranchi, left, and Brendon Kramer-Wilt, right, try plantains at the Mango Latin Bistro during the Savor Saturday event.

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Rina Goins worked on items for the upcoming Yarn Bomb, where local artisans are knitting items to put out in various places in downtown Parkersburg later this month