Crowds turn out for start of Point Park Music Series

PARKERSBURG – The Point Park Music Series kicked off Friday night bringing hundreds of visitors.

Carrie Nesselrode, executive director for Downtown PKB, said city officials and residents were eager to hear from a different genre of music. The music presented in the park on Friday was a Chicago tribute band called “Beginnings,” who took the stage around 8 p.m., immediately energizing the crowd.

Members of the audience began clapping with the band, which has been around for about 12 years, as it took the stage.

Nesselrode said the park had seen a steady flow of people setting up chairs for the 8 p.m. concert as early as 11 a.m. Friday.

Mayor Bob Newell welcomed the guests. Cecil Childress, board member with Downtown PKB, told the crowd there would be buckets going around for donations.

Beer, wine, non-alcoholic drinks and hot dogs were available for purchase in the riverfront park.

Tina Clark of Elizabeth said she brought her daughter, Amanda, out for something to do. Clark said she heard about the concert series by looking online for events taking place in the area.

They were excited to have an evening of activity ahead, she said.

Paul Robinson of Parkersburg said he has lived in the area his entire life and was glad to see a band that could appeal to different genres of music come to the city. Robinson said the concert series was his first time seeing the new Point Park and he was impressed with the work the city has done.

“I can remember when it was nothing but a catwalk here,” he said of the amphitheater area. “It’s really nice.”

April Teel of Parkersburg attended the concert with Robinson and said she was happy with the way the park turned out.

Robinson said the crowd for “Beginnings” showed area residents are interested in more than country and bluegrass music.

Childress said the concert series Friday did not bring the largest crowd the series had seen last year, but organizers are hopeful the crowds will grow as summer arrives. The concerts this year will be held on the first Friday of every month through September.

“It’s awesome; it’s a great crowd for the first one,” Nesselrode said Friday night.

The next concert will be July 5 and feature “Sway,” a Michael Buble tribute band. On Aug. 2, Motor City Revue, an 11-piece band covering Motown and Stax hits, will take the stage.

The final performance will be Sept. 6 by “Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute.”

Friday’s band was formed in 2002 by eight professional musicians, all veterans of the New York music scene. The band has performed at Walt Disney’s EPCOT Center, Atlantic City, Massachusetts and Ocala, Fla.

Admission is free to the public. Attendees can set up lawn chairs before the shows begin each night, organizers said.