Multi-Cultural Festival prep nears completion

PARKERSBURG – Setup for the 19th annual Mid-Ohio Valley Multi-Cultural Festival began Thursday despite threats of rain in the evening hours.

Rick Rubin, president of the festival, said about 75 to 80 percent of the expected vendors were set up in City Park by Thursday evening and more were expected this morning.

“We have everything setup,” he said. “We brought the food trailers in early because I was afraid the weather might turn bad and we had to make some adjustment on the lot because of the rain.”

Today the festival will run from 6-10 p.m., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.

Rubin said the same number of vendors are expected this year.

“We have some new things in store,” he said. “We will have a dinosaur skeleton here that is 23-feet long and nine-feet tall in a tent by itself.”

Rubin said it is expected to arrive by early afternoon. Ray Gaston, the curator, will give presentations about the dinosaur at 1:45 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

“We also have a Korean food truck coming in from Columbus called Taco Sherpa,” he said.

Rubin said as always there is no admission to the festival; however, the food is not free and a fee is required for some of the children’s activities in the Children’s Activity Center in the City Park Pavilion.

One of the biggest attractions, the drum-making workshop, is one of the free activities and has been growing since it was introduced four years ago.

For the third year the opening night will have a theme.

“Three years ago we started having theme nights on the opening night and this year will be Africa,” he said. “Last year the theme was Latin night and the year before it was Irish night.”

One vendor setting up Thursday was Doran Mitchell with Angela’s Abstract Face and Body Art based in St. Albans. Mitchell said they have been coming to the festival since 2007.

“This is one of the best festivals we go to anywhere and they have the best staff,” he said. “They talk with the vendors at the Sunday breakfast. We love it here.”