Wine and Jazz festival packs Market Street in Parkersburg

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton David Wells, event organizer and founder/CEO of the Chocolate Jazz Foundation, took to the stage at the festival.

PARKERSBURG — Downtown Parkersburg’s first Wine and Jazz Festival played to a crowd that grew as the evening wore on Saturday.

David Wells, organizer of the event, said the festival is to benefit the Chocolate Jazz Foundation of which he is the founder and chief executive officer. All proceeds raised at the festival will go to the cause of stopping bullying in public schools locally.

At one point there appeared to be about 300 attend the festival, which took place on the closed-off sections of Market Street in the 700 and 800 blocks, but the crowd grew as the sun set.

Wells said he was encouraged to see so many come downtown Saturday evening.

“I don’t know how many are here but the Mango Bistro has been packed and the Parkersburg Brewing Co. has been packed, too.”

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Kevin Howard, left, and Otis Cockran, right, share the keyboards during a number at Saturday’s Wine and Jazz on Market Street festival.

One of the performers at the show was Kevin Howard, who came with his band, the Kevin Howard band, based in Pittsburgh. Howard said he canceled plans for a cruise when Wells invited him to be part of the first festival.

“Dave is just a great guy and it’s such a great cause,” he said. “I’ve been here before for the Multi-Cultural Festival and Jazz on the Green years ago with Gene Donaway; I’ve been down here a lot.”

Howard said Parkersburg was among stops he made this year such as Washington, D.C., San Diego and Arizona.

Ashley Way-Fankhouser, of Parkersburg, said she came out to go to something different.

“We just came out for something different,” she said. “We just wanted to see what it’s all about.”

Scott and Amy Teter, of Washington, W.Va., said they came out after a day of other activities to listen to the music.

“We’re here to listen to the music,” he said. “We ate out and stayed around.”

“It was a beautiful day and we had been bike riding on the rail trail,” she said.

“We just stopped by here in town to see what’s going on,” Scott said.


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