PARKERSBURG - Plans are being made and volunteers are being sought for a series of downtown Parkersburg programs this summer, from the rescheduled Taste of Parkersburg to the second season of the Point Park Music Series. Those and other programs have been joined under the banner of Downtown PKB, which is directed by Carrie Nesselrode and will kick off in late May and early June this year.
This year's popular Taste of Parkersburg has been moved from its former date in late September to the last weekend in May this year, on May 31 and June 1 at the Blennerhassett Hotel in downtown Parkersburg, Nesselrode said.
The goal of the change in the date for the Taste of Parkersburg is to open it to more vineyards and other vendors. Nesselrode said the fall timing of the past Taste events clashed with harvesting schedules for many vineyards and organizers are hoping the change will allow more to participate.
The internationally known Beatles tribute band “1964” drew thousands of people last summer to the Riverfront Park Amphitheater at Point Park in downtown Parkersburg. The Point Park Music Series returns in June with four monthly concerts along the Ohio River.
In a change for this year's event, the Taste of Parkersburg will be offering reserved tables at $150 for a four-person table and $300 for an eight-person table.
A week after the Taste, at 8 p.m. June 7, the Point Park Music Series will return to the amphitheater at Point Park.
In a change from last summer's inaugural series, the concerts will be held on the first Friday of each month in June, July, August and September, instead of every Friday in August.
"We're not going to do a weekly series," Nesselrode said. "We decided we want to spread it out. What we would like to do, if we have enough sponsorships, we would eventually like to add in more."
The first show will be 8 p.m. June 7 featuring "Beginnings," a Chicago tribute band. On July 5, the next show in the series will feature "Sway," which is a leading professional quality Michael Buble tribute show. On Aug. 2, the Motor City Revue will perform. It is an 11-piece band covering popular and rare Motown and Stax hits from the Detroit era. The final performance of the season will be Sept. 6 featuring "Who's Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute."
The current schedule also provides openings for other activities and events to be held in Point Park, whether by Downtown PKB or others in the community.
As part of the music series, Nesselrode said organizers are looking at adding some additional vendors, selling water in the crowds and passing donation buckets during the concerts to help offset the costs, she said. Admission will remain free to the public for the concerts themselves, she said.
"We're also considering doing some after-parties, after the concerts are over, looking to have something at another venue that would be something smaller for people who want to stay out later," she said.
Nesselrode said one of the limiting factors to doing more activities and programs in downtown Parkersburg is the number of volunteers who help organize and put on the various events. As an example, volunteers are currently needed for the Taste of Parkersburg to help in a variety of ways, from servers to ticket sellers to clean-up workers.
In an attempt to address that need and seek more volunteers overall, Nesselrode said Downtown PKB will hold a community volunteer event from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Blennerhassett Hotel. It will be an open house/trade show format, with the organization outlining all of the things it is working on and hoping to do and letting people know the types of volunteer activities available, to see what best fits their skills and interests.
Information is also available online at the organization's website at www.downtownpkb.com and on Facebook at Downtown PKB.