Downtown Parkersburg welcomes events

PARKERSBURG — Downtown Parkersburg will play host to two different but popular events this weekend.

The Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau will host the fourth annual Parkersburg Paddlefest Weekend from Friday through Sunday, featuring three days dedicated to people-powered watercraft at Point Park in downtown Parkersburg along with a visit to North Bend State Park Lake.

On Friday at 8 p.m., Paddlefest weekend kicks off with a glow paddle, where electric lights and glow sticks illuminate the group as they paddle up the Little Kanawha River from Point Park.

On Saturday, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m., the main Parkersburg Paddlefest event provides a unique opportunity to paddle a three-mile stretch of the Ohio River, from Point Park to Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park and back. The U.S. Coast Guard will be closing the river to commercial traffic during that period for the Paddlefest. Tickets are $20 each and may be purchased through EventBrite, the link is found at parkersburgpaddlefest.com.

Once the paddlers reach Blennerhassett Island, they are welcome to participate in activities provided by Temple Challenge, Full Circle Yoga and Appalachian Disc Golf. For a small additional fee participants may also tour Blennerhassett Mansion, take horse-drawn wagon rides, rent bicycles, or walk the paths around the park before paddling back up river.

On Sunday, Parkersburg Paddlefest offers a farewell lake paddling excursion on North Bend State Park Lake.

Coinciding with the Paddlefest and also taking place in downtown Parkersburg will be the Downtown Throwdown BBQ & Brewfest organized by Downtown PKB from 6-10 p.m. Saturday at Bicentennial Park next to the Blennerhassett Hotel.

Tickets are $15 in advance through downtownpkb.com or $20 at the gate.

The event will feature craft beers and barbecue from a variety of vendors. At the end of the evening, attendees will be encouraged to cast their vote for the favorite BBQ item in the ballot box at the main gate. with a winner announced and receiving an award.

There will also be live entertainment. The event is made possible with the support of the Parkersburg Jaycees and other sponsors.

The food vendors will include: North End Tavern & Brewery; Q-Wagon BBQ LLC; Shortys Pizzeria; Grand Pointe Conference & Reception Center; The Par Bar on Emerson; and Spats Restaurant & Lounge. The beer vendors will include: Morgantown Brewing Company; Greenbrier Valley Brewery; Parkersburg Brewing Company; New Belgium; Founders; Bells; Bridge Brew Works; North End Tavern & Brewery; Swilled Dog; Mountain State Brewery; Devils Backbone; Big Timber; and Country Boy.

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