Mountaineer Parrothead Club of Parkersburg likes to party with a purpose.
The party is held each summer in Wood County and carries a Jimmy Buffett tropical theme. The purpose is to raise money for charitable causes.
Tom Watt, "The Buffettman," will be singing Jimmy Buffett tunes at the seventh annual Mountaineer Parrothead Club's fundraiser from 7-11 p.m. June 2 at Bicentennial Park next to the Blennerhassett Hotel.
Proceeds from "Island Fest 2012" will help pay for equipment in the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Department at Camden Clark Medical Center and go to the "Out of the Darkness" community walk that raises money for suicide prevention.
Watt not only sings like Buffett but also looks like him, said local Parrothead club vice president/spokeswoman Kim Kaplan. Watt and The Fruitcakes band bring a tropical-themed tribute show to venues across the United States and Watt was Buffett's photo double in the movie "Hoot."
This year's fundraiser will resemble an actual Jimmy Buffett concert, Kaplan promises.
Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at the Blennerhassett Hotel or by calling Kaplan at 304-482-3218. The ticket includes the concert, food and entry into the grand prize - a day trip by train from Charleston to The Greenbrier.
"We recommend everyone wear their best island attire and bring a lounge chair," Kaplan said.
The Parrothead club has raised about $5,000 for local charitable causes at each previous Island Fest and hopes to double that amount with Watt's performance as Buffett. The group wants to sell 500 tickets for the concert.
Cecil Childress, general manager at the Blennerhassett Hotel, has been working with the Mountaineer Parrothead Club on this fundraiser, the second held at the Market and Third streets site. "We are hoping this event becomes the kickoff to numerous downtown events and we can start a downtown event series," Kaplan said.
Some of the other events planned for downtown are the American Wind Symphony Orchestra performances July 8-10 at Riverfront Park, Parkersburg Homecoming Festival in August and the Taste of Parkersburg in September.
"Our goal (for downtown) is to have one or two major events with entertainment a month from spring to fall," Childress said.
Speaking of downtown, Nicole Slattery has joined the Blennerhassett Hotel as marketing manager/graphic designer. A 1997 graduate of Parkersburg High School, Slattery spent the past 10 years in Boston, getting a master of fine arts degree in graphic design from Boston University and working for companies in graphic design. The daughter of Mark and Mona Smith of Vienna, Slattery said she is happy to be back home. She and her Boston native husband, Ted Slattery, have a 1-year-old daughter, Isabella.
Actors Guild of Parkersburg officials are ecstatic over the community's response to "Hairspray," which ends its three-weekend run at the Guild theater this afternoon. All seven performances have been sold out, a rare occurrence in recent years at the Actors Guild, officials said. Guild veteran Dave Prather said he has heard that tweens and teens have enjoyed "Hairspray," a musical set in Baltimore in 1962. "The show is a lot of fun to watch," said Prather, who attended on opening night. "Everyone has done a really good job." In case any tickets become available for today's show at 2:30 p.m., Guild board member Gary McIntyre suggests calling the box office at 12:30 p.m. at 304-485-1300. Today's show was moved from 8 p.m. to the afternoon because several "Hairspray" cast members are attending their high school proms tonight.
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