PARKERSBURG - Thousands of people filled the Blennerhassett Hotel parking lot and Bicentennial Plaza on Saturday evening for the sixth annual Taste of Parkersburg.
"I've been (coming) here every year and it's a lot of fun," said Jeff Campbell, of Marietta. "The food is the best part - I didn't get this big by not enjoying food."
Participating restaurants included Angelos Great Steak Grill, Blacksmith Barbecue Shack, Da Vinci's, Holl's Swiss Chocolatier, Chams, Lui Lui, Mango Latin Bistro, Spats at The Blennerhassett, The Galley, Tampico's Mexican Restaurant, The Fishbone Gill and Grill, Third Street Deli and Yancy's Five-Star Catering.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Max Vater, with Alexander Valley Vineyards out of Sonoma County, California, tastes some of the wines he brought to the sixth annual Taste of Parkersburg on Saturday evening at the Blennerhassett Hotel and Bicentennial Plaza.
"By not having chain restaurants participating we make this a more unique event for the people who choose to come," said Cecil Childress, general manager of the Blennerhassett Hotel and one of the event organizers. "The Taste of Parkersburg features what is great about the area."
Childress said he hoped to see about 3,000 people fill the area for the food, wine and beer.
"I wouldn't miss this for the world," said Donna Briggs, of Parkersburg. "It's just one of the best events in the state and coming here you can't go wrong.
A Delicious Time For All
Thousands of people filled downtown on Saturday for the sixth annual Taste of Parkersburg.
The event included a variety of food and beverages from local and regional businesses for sampling by attendees.
"Because there are so many people here, even if you haven't seen someone for 20 or 30 years, you'll see them here," she added.
Gayle Wilder, of Parkersburg, said she attends the event every year, and not only for the food.
"I love the music," she said. "My husband is a fan of jazz and the music here is really great, but so is the food."
As for businesses, the Taste of Parkersburg is a way for local restaurants, wineries and breweries to get their products to people who otherwise wouldn't have tried it.
Chris Bender, general manager with Da Vinci's in Williamstown, did not doubt that they brought enough food.
"It's a well-attended event, but there is no doubt that we brought enough," she said. "But not only does it remind people who have eaten at our restaurant what we have, but it also shows people who travel here for the event what we offer."
Restaurants from Ohio were also on hand to show off their goods.
"It's a lot of fun and gives us a lot of exposure," said Bronson Bach, with The Galley and Adelphia on Marietta's Second Street. "By offering a few of our menu items here it entices people to drive across the river."
This year's Taste also featured a number of wine and boutique beers, Childress said.
"We have three local wineries, but to offer a larger variety we had to look to the rest of the country and world," he said.
One of those wineries included Alexander Valley Vineyards out of Sonoma County, California.
"I've been part of this event for several years and it's a great regional event that is actively attended, which gives me a great opportunity to spread our wine," said Max Vater, who works East Coast sales for the company.