Parkersburg Country Club's annual Cheer Party, held two days before Christmas, is one of the toughest holiday tickets in town.
The Dec. 23 event is filled with food, music, dancing, well-dressed people, eye-catching decor and holiday cheer. It serves as a reunion for children of country club members who are returning home for the holidays from college or work outside the region.
The Cheer Party has grown to such a large scale - from crowds numbering about 600 - that the Parkersburg Country Club is trying to limit attendance to members and immediate family, said Carl Mayfield, event and membership director. About 500 people were at Sunday's party, which began at 6:30 p.m.
Samantha Stokes, a public defender in Wilmington, N.C., and 1995 graduate of Parkersburg High School, said she enjoyed seeing old friends at the Cheer Party. Her parents are Jack and Linda Stokes of Vienna.
Nathan Conley, a senior at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., said he had a good time attending his third Cheer Party. He compared it to a reunion of friends and high school classmates. Conley, the son of Vince and Ginny Conley of Vienna, will be receiving a degree in business administration in May and played basketball for three years at The Citadel.
Lauren Draber, a senior at West Virginia University majoring in advertising, said the Cheer Party was a holiday tradition that allowed her to catch up with friends who attend college out of town. She is the daughter of Skip and Jan Draber of Vienna.
Also attending were West Virginia University School of Medicine student Connor Louden of Vienna, Parkersburg native Amy Deem, director of track and field and cross country at the University of Miami, and Fisher Pence, a 1996 graduate of Parkersburg High School who works in public relations in Los Angeles.
Mayfield noted that disc jockey Alex Foster got the crowd moving with some songs for slow dancing along with disco and high-energy techno music.
Executive Chef Dave Rudie was especially pleased with the white chocolate-covered bacon, the lamb dish and Asian noodles station. Pastry chef Nicole Kocher prepared eggnog panna cotta with spiced pears and assorted truffles.
Four cases of canned food and 18 bags of non-perishable food were delivered to the Latrobe Street Mission following Sunday's Tavern Trail of eight businesses in Washington and Wood counties. For the first time in the holiday fundraiser, two Marietta stops, Edgewater Cafe and Harmar Tavern, were added to the trail of stops at Wood County taverns. Also, a second bus with designated driver was added for the younger men, said Jim Deem, who helps coordinator Dan Rogers with the event. Deem said 13 older men and seven younger men participated and donated food in the 15th annual holiday tradition. Wood County stops, lasting about 40 minutes each, were made to the Beachcomber in Williamstown, Sly Fox, Bank Shot, 19th Street Country Club, Hill House and J.P. Henry's.
Contact Paul LaPann at firstname.lastname@example.org