Parkersburg Homecoming seeks financial help

PARKERSBURG — The Parkersburg Homecoming Festival is establishing a Go Fund Me page to raise money to put on the annual festival.

Festival organizers said they are trying something new for Parkersburg Homecoming to raise money and keep the festival a free event.

The page is at gofundme.com/parkersburg-homecoming.

Those who want to see homecoming continue are asked to consider making a contribution, organizers said.

”We have sent out fundraising letters to businesses throughout the area seeking their support,” organizers said in a press release. ”This has been a devastating year for fairs, festivals and special attractions in Wood County.”

The Wood County Commission cut funding to all events by 50 percent. The city of Parkersburg cut funding to the festival by 33 percent. The state Legislature cut 20 percent of funding from fairs and festivals statewide, homecoming officials said.

The West Virginia Fairs and Festivals Association is urging communities to support local events across the state.

”I urge cities, counties and communities to support their local fairs and festivals to the fullest,” said Association President Jacob Hill in a press release. ”At a time when West Virginia is touting itself as a destination attraction for tourism, the state’s second leading industry, communities should be investing in their communities and their attractions, rather than slashing funding for tourism opportunities.”

Homecoming officials have said many in the community, including leaders, want to see the festival return “to the heydays of the past, while at the same time cutting funding.”

”Unfortunately, every event we do has a price tag associated with it,” Parkersburg Homecoming officials said in the press release. ”Fireworks, insurance, prizes, awards and entertainment — most of which has went up in price over the years, while our budget has declined.

”Officials need to remember we faced the 9-11 attacks…then a financial recession… sponsorships slowly dried up. Fairs and festivals have had a hard time recovering,” Parkersburg Homecoming officials said.

Organizers said they have strived to put on an enjoyable time for all at the Parkersburg Homecoming Festival.

”We have always strived to bring a fun weekend to Parkersburg and to bring guests in from their areas,” they said. ”We wanted to provide some fun, excitement and stimulate some community pride.

”However, events can’t be done for free…it is impossible. So we are asking for local businesses and citizens to help out,” Parkersburg Homecoming officials said.

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