By nearly every account, this past weekend's Parkersburg Homecoming was a rousing success. Large crowds throughout the three days paraded the downtown area and around the new Point Park enjoying all the attractions available.
What most of those people probably did not realize was the massive amount of planning and months of effort that went into putting together this three-day event. When something does not go as expected, it is usually visible for everyone to see. However, when something runs smoothly, as did this weekend's festival, it is easy to not think about the work involved.
The Parkersburg Homecoming could not go on without hours and hours of volunteer labor. For these people, much of the work leading up to the actual event usually brings more problems and headaches than accolades. However, they deserve a special thank you for their efforts.
During the past few years, attendance at the annual festival had declined for whatever reason. Never a big money-maker, the event had become almost too expensive. There were even discussions that the festival had run its course and possibly should be eliminated, or at least put on the shelf for a few years.
However, a few years ago, Randall Roberts was tapped as the Parkersburg Homecoming president. And since that time he has brought a new energy and passion for the event that has carried over into the event itself, and to the people attending.
Yes, the weather is a big factor in the number of people attending any outdoor event. And the weather for this year's festival was nearly perfect for mid-August. It almost forced people out of their homes and into the downtown to enjoy the festival. However, once there, there was no lacking in activities to enjoy. The music acts were first-rate and signing the Charlie Daniels Band as Sunday's main event proved to be a masterful stroke. The veteran country-rocker packed the streets from the parking lot to Second Street. According to Roberts, it was one of the largest crowds to take in a Homecoming concert. And it seemed most of the people who came left extremely satisfied with his and his band's performance.
In just a few weeks, planning for the 2013 Parkersburg Homecoming will begin. However, before that happens, we think organizers should be congratulated for the event they offered residents this year.