Thousands attend celebrations

PARKERSBURG – The Fourth of July celebrations in Parkersburg drew visitors by the thousands on Friday, offering several events for people to enjoy.

Thousands flocked to City Park for the American Legion Carnival and the fireworks which began at 10 p.m. on Friday. Around the city, people sat out and watched the fireworks light up the sky over the park.

Earlier in the evening, hundreds gathered for the Tribute to Bruce Springsteen concert at Point Park, part of the Point Park Concert Series. The Point Park Marketplace provided many of them with an opportunity to learn about the market and experience new things before the main show began.

Visitors waiting for the evening performance of the Bruce Springsteen Tribute by the band Tramps Like Us had the opportunity to begin their evening, and beat the crowds for parking, by stopping off at the marketplace Friday evening.

The Point Park Marketplace stayed open late on Friday, closing at 8 p.m. instead of its usual 6 p.m., to allow patrons and early arrivals for the concert series held on the other side of the flood wall a chance to enjoy the market, said Jared Towner, outreach and development manager for the market.

The concert series at Point Park provided an opportunity for the marketplace to showcase its wares and its vendors, Towner said.

Visitors to the marketplace found vendors selling fruits and vegetables, as well as an assortment of honey, syrups and jellies. A free wine-tasting was available, along with samples of freshly made ice cream and coffee, Phillipino takeout, kettle corn, and alpaca yarn goods.

Those in search of dinner found places to sit, both inside the cooler market and outside on the deck, to wait while Chef Yancy Roush prepared free grilled corn, and had a full array of dinner items available.

Contemporary jazz music floated over the area, played by David Wells and Otis Crockron.

Parkersburg resident Eleanor Egbert was among those waiting for dinner from Chef Yancy on Friday evening.

“We have had a lot of fun while waiting for the concert to start,” said Egbert, speaking for her friends as well. “We put our chairs out yesterday and found the market to be wonderful. I look forward to coming more often,” she said.

Connie Eades, of Parkersburg, enjoyed touring the marketplace with her neighbor Patsy Cox, of Parkersburg.

“This is great, our first trip down here. I am surprised by the variety of things to buy and to try,” Eades said.

“The atmosphere is wonderful, and it is so clean and everyone is friendly,” Cox said.

Others came for the entertainment the marketplace offered before the main concert began. Terry and Stephanie Dunn were among those drawn by the promise of two concerts in one evening, Terry Dunn said.

“We like having (the farmers’ market) open beforehand, and the pre-concert that Wells is holding,” Stephanie Dunn said. “We can come down early and have something to do before the main show,” she said.