Organizers for the Taste of Parkersburg are getting closer to obtaining the 150 volunteers needed for the downtown festival in two weeks.
As of Wednesday, 109 people had signed up to volunteer at the seventh annual Taste of Parkersburg on Sept. 14-15 at Market and Third streets, said Lance Flaherty, who co-chairs the volunteers committee.
This is a "solid number" of volunteers but more help is needed, Flaherty said.
The festival of food, wine, beer, music and art opens at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, with a wine-tasting event at the Blennerhassett Hotel. The main event takes place the next day from 5-11 p.m. in the parking lot and park next to the hotel.
Flaherty describes the Taste of Parkersburg as a "volunteer-driven event" with people needed for general setup, vendor and volunteer check-in, entrance gates, roving vendor coupon sales, vendor supply and support, concessions, wine and beer pouring.
Volunteers, 18 years old and older, do not have to work during the entire festival and will be permitted to enjoy the festivities. They will receive free entry, a wine or beer glass and a logo T-shirt.
Consecutive five-year volunteers will receive a logo wine glass lanyard. Groups of 10 or more volunteers from an organization or business will be recognized in advertising and promotional materials, Flaherty said.
Meanwhile, the 2013 edition of Taste of Parkersburg will be moving to May 31 and June 1, from the usual September date.
A decision was made this week to move the date of the festival because of college football and the grape harvesting and crushing season, said Taste of Parkersburg spokesman Cecil Childress.
It is difficult to schedule Taste of Parkersburg around West Virginia University football, which draws a considerable number of fans from the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Childress also anticipates an easier time attracting winemakers and wine vendors to TOP in the spring than during the busy late summer winemaking season.
To volunteer for 2012 TOP go to the website tasteofparkersburg.com and click on the link for volunteers.
Hollywood-based writer Jim Dawson, a 1962 graduate of Parkersburg High School, has written a book titled "Los Angeles's Bunker Hill: Pulp Fiction's Mean Streets and Film Noir's Ground Zero!"
Dawson describes Bunker Hill as an old, vanished Los Angeles neighborhood that has its place in hard-boiled fiction and film noir. "When you talk to people who lived on L.A.'s Bunker Hill 50 or 60 years ago, they have a deep love for the place, despite its rundown condition," Dawson wrote in an email.
"It was hilly, quirky and mysterious. Even people who never stepped foot on Bunker Hill seem to feel nostalgic about it," he said, with its fading Victorians, flophouses, tough bars, stairways and dark alleys in downtown Los Angeles.
Dawson said he bases his love of old neighborhoods on growing up in a "rambling, turn-of-the-century working-class neighborhood" on Quincy Street in Parkersburg and living close to a more prosperous Victorian neighborhood of Juliana and Ann streets.
Dawson is a proud member of Parkersburg's Quincy Hill Gang, which has held several reunions. Dawson Alley, which connects the 1200 block of Quincy Street with Avery Street, is named after Jim and his brother Bob.
Dawson has written books on early rock 'n' roll, including ones about Buddy Holly, Bill Haley And His Comets and The Twist. His newest book can be purchased on Amazon.com.
Dawson's 50th high school class reunion is Sept. 21 at J.P. Henry's and Sept. 22 at Parkersburg Country Club.
Contact Paul LaPann at firstname.lastname@example.org