PARKERSBURG - Two blocks of Market Street from Fifth to Seventh streets were closed Saturday for the first Park Day 2011 in Parkersburg.
Billed as a "car-free" community festival, the event focused on a variety of physical activities for the entire family that can be done outdoors.
Kim Coram, an organizer of the event, said the day was based on two international celebrations. One was Cyclovia, where a part of a downtown can be closed for cycling and parking days, where streets are closed and become instant parks.
Two blocks of Market Street from Fifth to Seventh streets were closed Saturday for the first Park Da
"International Parking Day was Friday," Coram said. "We are having it today with the Cyclovia. This gives families an opportunity to do many different activities together. One thing we want to show is that is OK to just be silly for a day."
Activities at the festival included hula hoops, hop scotch and jumping rope. She said the ultimate goal was to encourage people to use active transportation such as walking and biking and to encourage downtown businesses to support active transportation.
Coram said the event was sponsored by the Parkersburg Bicycle Advisory Board and Change the Future West Virginia.
Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
Emilia Horton, of Mineral Wells, is fitted for a bicycle helmet by Tasha Berry at Park Day 2011 in downtown Parkersburg.
Carrie Brainard, health and wellness director at the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, said the program was trying to promote physical activity and healthier eating. One of the prizes was toothbrushes.
Also included was a cooking program sponsored by the Parkersburg Farmers' Market where children were able to participate in fixing a healthy and tasty meal.
For biking enthusiasts there were tours of the Little Kanawha Connector bike path and a downtown bike loop set up for the day. The loop started at the health department building, through the alley behind the parking building to Fifth Street to Market Street to Seventh Street and back to the health department on Sixth Street.
Two blocks of Market Street were blocked Saturday for a "car-free" community festival.
Park Day 2011 was an event focused on a variety of physical activities for the entire family that can be done outdoors.
It was also organized to encourage people to use active transportation such as walking and biking.
Carolyn Martin, of Parkersburg, said she, her granddaughter Meredith and a neighbor rode their bikes to downtown to be part of Park Day. Martin also gave the hula hoops a try.
"My granddaughter loves the hula hoop and I've never tried one before," she said.
Martin said she thought the Park Day was a good event for downtown.
"It's a good way to get families back to downtown and for them to be active."
Park Day will also featured entertainment with local DJ Steven Spencer on the main stage. Local entertainers included Chelsea Lazwell and Mark Snider. There was also a flash mob from Schrader Youth Ballet and a Zumba demonstration.