Chalk, vintage cars help liven up downtown Parkersburg

PARKERSBURG – Chalk art and vintage cars took over downtown Parkersburg on Saturday.

Along Market Street, the first “Chalk Chill” took place between Seventh and Fifth streets.

Ken Gilbert, organizer and a retired art teacher from Parkersburg High School, said the chill was to kick off the city’s celebration of the West Virginia Sesquicentennial, which falls on Thursday, which is West Virginia Day.

Throughout Saturday, Gilbert said 35 people worked on artworks on the pavement with a diverse range of subjects ranging from the four seasons depicted in a folk art style to cartoon characters. He said the artists ranged from elementary school children to adults.

Gilbert said the “Chalk Chill” will resume today at 1:30 p.m. The 500 and 600 blocks of Market Street will remain closed to vehicle traffic until late tonight or early Monday, he said.

Beth Cox, a professor of art at West Virginia University at Parkersburg, said she had four students working on a project depicting the four seasons.

In another downtown event on Saturday, the Pioneer Antique Automobile Club had its first downtown show of the season with the Mayor Bob’s Show at Bicentennial Park.

Carl Tucker, a club board member, said the show was the first of four the club has planed for downtown Parkersburg during the summer.

“This is our Downtown Mayor Bob’s Show and we will have four of them,” he said. “We will have another one here at the park, one on Market Street and the fourth one at the park.”

Tucker said the show on Market Street will be during the annual Parkersburg Homecoming in August. That show will be a two-day show.

“If you pay to be part of it Friday you can be part of it for no charge on Saturday,” he said.