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WV Weekend: Taste of Parkersburg

April 29, 2018
taste of parkersburg aerial shot

Savor the flavor of the Mountain State with entertainment, wine, craft brews, and an eclectic mix of culinary offerings at the Annual Taste of Parkersburg on June 1!

Begin your weekend by checking into the historic Blennerhassett Hotel.

blennerhassett hotel building

Suddenly rich from oil and natural gas in the late 1800s, Parkersburg, West Virginia flourished into a vivacious city that welcomed businessman and visitors from all over the country. Birthed in that prosperous time, The Blennerhassett Hotel opened its doors in 1889 and began serving guests with an unmatched style and elegance. Designed and built by William Chancellor, a prominent Parkersburg businessman, the hotel was a majestic showplace that radiated the captivating atmosphere of the gaslight era.

The Blennerhassett is the perfect blend of old-world charm and modern convenience. And you are literally just steps from the festivities of Taste of Parkersburg on Friday and Saturday, not to mention several downtown attractions.

After you’ve explored the hotel and unpacked. Head to Fort Boreman and take in a grand view of Downtown Parkersburg and the confluence of the Ohio and Little Kanawha Rivers.

On Saturday, enjoy a scrumptious breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant, Brunello, before heading out for sightseeing.

sternwheel boat on the river in late evening

Walk two short blocks from the hotel to the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History where you may purchase sternwheeler tickets to visit Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park.

The first boat leaves for the island at 11 a.m. from Point Park. You’ll feel a little like you’re in a Mark Twain novel when you step aboard. The paddlewheel will churn through the waters of the mighty Ohio River for approximately 30 minutes before arriving at your destination downstream.

Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park and its Palladium-style mansion are named for Harman Blennerhassett, an Irish aristocrat who settled the island in 1798, building a 7,000-square foot home after the style of General Gorge Washington’s Mount Vernon.

people in costume walking to the blennerhassett mansion

Once you arrive, tour the reconstructed mansion and hear the Blennerhassett’s story. Then take a horse-drawn wagon ride or simply stroll the grounds.

Make sure to catch the 3:30 p.m. boat back to the mainland in time to freshen up for the evening’s main festivities.

As the early summer sky begins to fade on the horizon, a soft glow of a thousand twinkling lights comes into view. A live jazz band invites guests to revel on the dance floor, while wine and culinary connoisseurs happily gather, chat, and toast the evening.

playing a trumpet

Taste of Parkersburg (5-11 p.m.) has become a premier social event. Friends and families, young and young at heart, make their way to historic downtown Parkersburg to sample a variety of outstanding cuisine options – ranging from Lebanese, Latin, Italian, American, Swiss, and more.

holding food on a plate

On Sunday morning, enjoy the Blennerhassett Hotel’s famous Sunday Brunch. Then walk off that extra piece of bacon by visiting the Julia-Ann Square Historic District.

House in julia-ann square

Just a few blocks north of the hotel, Julia-Ann Square Historic District in Parkersburg is comprised of more than 125 lovely homes representative of the Victorian age. The district is the largest of its kind in the state and is listed as a National Historic District. The neighborhood and its residents were once instrumental in the development of Parkersburg and the State of West Virginia. For a walking tour that will list a description and historic significance, visit: https://www.greaterparkersburg.com/self-guided-tours/downtown/

To reserve your tickets in advance for Taste of Parkersburg, visit www.downtownpkb.com/top.  Tickets may also be purchased at the gate.

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