Downtown PKB exec addresses Rotary Club

PARKERSBURG – Downtown PKB Executive Director Carrie Nesselrode gave Parkersburg Rotarians a preview Monday of what’s on tap in the weeks and months ahead and what’s been going on behind the scenes.

Up first this week is the latest Second Saturday Social. It will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Parkersburg YMCA’s downtown location on Market Street and feature geocaching, an activity in which participants use GPS coordinates to track down specific items. Admission is $5, and it’s intended as a family activity, Nesselrode said.

“We’re trying to keep things affordable and fun that a family can do together,” he said.

At the end of the month is the ninth annual Taste of Parkersburg, which will feature 40 food vendors, about 17 wine vendors and several beermakers in the Bicentennial Plaza and Blennerhassett Hotel parking lot.

This is the second year the event will be held in the spring instead of September. Club member Kim Couch asked Nesselrode how the change went last year and whether there was any thought of going back to the fall.

“It did change it,” Nesselrode said, noting last year was the first time rain had fallen on the event. “It didn’t change it to the bad enough that we’re going to put it back in the fall.”

But she did say the group was considering doing a more beer-centric, Octoberfest-style event somewhere down the road, possibly tying in with the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley’s chili cook-off.

Another change to the Taste this year is the expansion of the first day’s wine education event to a full wine dinner, with five courses and four pours. And Nesselrode said that while the number of reserve tables have been expanded this year, about half are already taken.

Reserve seats were snatched up more than a month ago for the Point Park Concert Series, held on the first Friday of each month June through September. But Nesselrode said there’s still plenty of room for spectators at the event that drew nearly 3,000 by last year’s final installment.

“Those 200 seats that we did as reserved seating are only a small portion of what we have available in Point Park,” Nesselrode said.

General admission to the concerts – which feature tribute artists playing the music of popular performers – is free. Up first on June 6 is the Fire and Rain Band, a tribute to James Taylor, followed by homages to Bruce Springsteen, Journey and Billy Joel.

Other events Downtown PKB will continue to sponsor including the Celebration of the Arts and Monster Mash in the fall.

The group is also preparing to release the findings of its survey, mostly of downtown workers, to see what services, activities and potential businesses people would like to see come to the area, Nesselrode said. In addition, they hope to form a youth advisory committee starting in the fall.

Meanwhile, Downtown PKB and the Wood County Development Authority/Area Roundtable have enlisted the aid of Nicole Sheridan to serve as a communications coordinator and administrative assistant, splitting time between both entities.