PARKERSBURG - Despite the rain, the Parkersburg Bicycle Advisory Board's bike ride from City Park to the downtown Christmas tree lighting went ahead as planned Tuesday.
Greg Garrett, chairman of the Parkersburg Bicycle Advisory Board, said before the rain, a group of 70 riders was expected for the fourth annual event.
"The rain and the prospect of more rain seems to be holding us down," he said. "We had 70 last year."
Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
Parkersburg’s Christmas tree was lighted Tuesday bringing the Christmas spirit to the courthouse square area.
The path of the ride was from City Park to 19th Street, to Market Street to the City Building, back up Avery Street to Washington Avenue, then tour the lights in the park and end at the pavilion.
Garrett said the bike tour began on a lark.
"We did this several years, got a bunch of people out," he said. "They decorated their bikes and it has been a fun ride."
Garrett said past rides have been colder but usually drier.
In past years, the ride went through the Julia-Ann Square Historic District, but Garrett said they were deterred from that since the brick street on Ann Street can be treacherous for bikes when they are wet and in the dark.
"We haven't had any wrecks," he said. "It's been pretty uneventful and a lot of fun."
Ali Pearce, of Parkersburg, said she was out for her first ride with the bicycle group.
"I just showed up," she said. "I saw it on the Parkersburg Facebook page and decided to come," she said. "I didn't know there was a bike advisory board."
Matthew Smith, of Parkersburg, said the event is one worth supporting and continuing.
"They are actually getting together and trying to participate in something," he said. "It is definitely worth nurturing and supporting."
Smith said he sees the bike ride as something that can help improve the quality of life.
"I think things have been a little bit better around here since we got the music at Point Park and other things," he said. "This town is so spread out at times and people don't get together and do things as much."
A larger crowd turned out for the Christmas tree lighting at City Hall.
Mayor Bob Newell said the tree placed at the city building was donated by Sheila Brown of Willoughby Drive. Along with that tree, lights were also placed on the live tree planted nearby.
Newell said in the future there will not be a need to bring a tree in. He said the neighboring tree has been called the "tree in training."
This year the button to turn on the lights on both trees was pushed by 13-month-old Kendall Gant, of Vienna.