PARKERSBURG - Organizers on Thursday were eagerly preparing for the seventh annual Taste of Parkersburg events to unfold.
Spokesman for the Taste, Cecil Childress, said set up was going well Thursday night. Preparations were being made Thursday afternoon for the education seminar and wine-tasting event set for tonight at the Blennerhassett Hotel.
Childress said the wine tasting, led by former Vienna resident Robert Cavanaugh, was sold out Thursday afternoon. The past few years' wine events on Friday night have been too crowded to handle the 100 people they are geared for.
John Muller, right, food and beverage director at the Blennerhassett Hotel, and Jane Heydinger, left, food and beverage manager, discuss preparations for the Taste of Parkersburg, which is tonight and Saturday. (Photo by Mandi Cardosi)
"This year we are doing the education component in the ballroom and the wine-tasting component in the (outside) tent," Childress said.
Childress said the change should allow participants better access to food and beverages throughout the night.
Saturday's Taste of Parkersburg, from 5-11 p.m. next to the Blennerhassett Hotel, is set up to accommodate around 3,000 people. Childress said tickets will be available at the hotel's coffee shop through tonight.
A benefit to purchasing a ticket today before the event is to avoid waiting in line at the gates on Saturday, he said.
"And we have plenty of those tickets (for Saturday)," Childress said.
Tickets are $15 at the gates on Saturday. One gate is on Market Street and the other is on Third Street near the city building. Admission includes a wine glass.
Once admitted to the event, visitors purchase $1 tickets at the Taste of Parkersburg for foods and beverages, costing from $1 to $5.
Food vendors will be serving until 9 p.m., wine and beer vendors until 10 p.m. and entertainment will end at 11 p.m.
Participating restaurants are Angelos Great Steak Grill, Blacksmith Barbecue Shack, Cafe Blue, Chams, Da Vinci's, El Mariachi, Fishbone, The Galley, Holl's Chocolates, Hometown Cake, Lui Lui, Mango Latin Bistro, The Polo Club, Spats at The Blennerhassett, Tampico Mexican Restaurant and Third Street Deli.
Wine and beer vendors scheduled to attend are Alexander Valley Vineyards, Bouchaine, Capital Beverage, Clos Du Val, Constellation Wines, Falcor, Hahn Family Wines, Kobrand, Kysela, Laetitia Vineyard and Winery, San Francisco Wine Exchange, Simon-N-Cellars, Stone Road Vineyard, Toscano In Appalachia Wines, Wine Tree Vinyards, Vineyard Brands, Vu Ja De Vineyards, Wente Vineyards, Wine Connection, The Wine Group, NET Brewery and Winesellers.
Taste of Parkersburg organizers are always looking for ways to develop and improve the event, Childress said. Plans are being made to move the 2013 event to May 31 and June 1.