Socials aim to bring downtown Parkersburg to life

PARKERSBURG – People looking for a reason to visit downtown Parkersburg on weekends, a monthly event will begin next month to draw crowds.

Beginning next month, Second Saturday Socials will be a monthly event where one downtown business will host entertainment and drinks following guided bicycle and walking tours of downtown, said Kim Coram, chair of the Park Day Planning Committee and a Parkersburg City Council member.

“This came about after the success of Park Day last month,” Coram said. “People kept asking us to do it again and it is a lot of work, so we came up with this smaller, monthly event.”

For a $5 fee, people can participate in the walk or bicycle ride and enjoy a free beverage with entertainment at the host business. Each month, the event will be held on the second Saturday and hosted by a different downtown business.

“We are trying to get more dollars into downtown,” Coram said. “By doing events like this, we are showing businesses our buying power.”

According to the Alliance for Biking and Walking, bicyclists and walkers spend more money in business districts than people using cars as their mode of transportation.

“People riding a bicycle or walking downtown see more signs and what is available better than someone driving 25 or more miles per hour in a car,” Coram said. “With the Second Saturday Socials we want to show businesses that being a bicycling community helps their business.”

This first Second Saturday Social event will begin at 5 p.m. Nov. 9 at The Daily Grind, at 619 Market St. The Dec. 14 event will be hosted by Nostalgia antiques and vendor mall, at 810 Market St.

The third Parkersburg Park Day was held Sept. 14 and was part of an international event to encourage people to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into public parks and other social spaces. In place of cars, people are encouraged to come ride, skate, jump, play and dance in the street.

“Park Day involves too much in closing the street and other things to do it more often, but we hope the Second Saturday Socials fill the public’s want,” Coram said.

Second Saturday Socials are sponsored by the Blennerhassett Bicycle Club, Parkersburg Bicycle Advisory Board and Downtown PKB.

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