Labor Day weekend promises to be packed with great outdoor activities. Reserve your spot aboard the Island Belle Sternwheeler on September 7 and enjoy a hearty dinner and delightful river cruise. Complete your evening of fun by attending the final Point Park Music Series Concert. Reservations are required for the dinner cruise. Call 304-420-4800 or 800-CALL WVA to learn more about times and costs. Then rock the night away with a free concert by Wanted, the Bon Jovi Tribute, beginning at 8 p.m. This will be the last Point Park Music Series Concert this year! www.downtownpkb.com
The 5th Annual Parkersburg Paddlefest on Sept. 14-16 is a weekend water festival. Paddlefest weekend starts on Friday night (Sept. 14) at 8 p.m. with a lighted paddle up the Little Kanawha River from Point Park. Electric lights and glow sticks illuminate the group on this opening night event. The main event on Saturday (Sept. 15) 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., provides a unique opportunity to paddle a three-mile stretch of the Ohio River, from Point Park downriver to Blennerhassett Island and back, while commercial traffic is restricted on the Ohio River. On Sunday (Sept. 16), before heading home, the festival offers a farewell lake paddling excursion on North Bend State Park Lake.www.parkersburgpaddlefest.com
The 56th annual juried Harvest Moon Arts & Crafts Festival boasts more than 175 crafters showing, demonstrating, and selling their handmade products each year. Festival proceeds go toward supporting youth recreation within Wood County. The event takes place September 15 & 16 in the Parkersburg City Park.
Downtown Throwdown BBQ & Brewfest, also on Sept. 15, takes places at Bicentennial Park (between the Blennerhassett Hotel and the Parkersburg City Building) in downtown Parkersburg from 6-10 p.m. and features various BBQ favorites and craft beers from around the state. www.downtownpkb.com
Visit the sternwheelers docked at Point Park for Riverfest, Sept. 14 & 15. Entertainment, Antique auto show, activities for the kids. The fireworks display will take place at 9:30 on Saturday followed by music from the MIXX Band. www.facebook.com/PKBRiverfest/
Make plans to also attend Volcano Days on Sept. 21-23 at Mountwood Park. The festival features an antique steam and gas engine show, model railroad display, kiddie tractor pulls, corn meal grinding, apple butter making, historic wagon rides, crafts and flea market, food vendors and entertainment. www.mountwoodpark.org
The Haunted Parkersburg Ghost Tours are one of the most popular ghost tours in the nation and take individuals through the quaint streets of downtown Parkersburg and recount its haunted history and famous paranormal tales. Tour guides will tell you various supernatural stories that are unique to the Parkersburg area. Tours are offered Friday and Saturday evenings beginning in September 29 through November 4. Tours begin at 7:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Blennerhassett Hotel (corner of 4th and Market Streets) and takes approximately two hours (walk is two miles). www.hauntedparkersburgtours.com
Take an ole fashion river cruise aboard the Valley Gem Sternwheeler on October 2, 9 or 16 &18. Marietta, Ohio’s unique location allows the Valley Gem to offer a variety of Lock and Dam tours. Tours depart at 12 p.m. and return at 3 p.m. with a café menu available for lunch on board. www.valleygemsternwheeler.com
Enjoy the autumn evening air at the Blennerhassett Mansion by Candlelight during two nights, on October 12 and 13, where sternwheeler rides will transport you back in time to 1805 where the Blennerhassett Mansion and grounds are lit by hundreds of flickering candles. Strike up a conversation with historic figures dressed in 19th century costumes, watch dancing, and enjoy a traditional harvest dinner. Advanced reservations are required to attend this event and may be purchased by contacting the Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park. www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com
With a little bit of something to suit anyone’s interests, from arts and crafts festivals to haunted tours and everything in between Parkersburg has it all!
To learn more about Greater Parkersburg and these events, visit www.GreaterParkersburg.com or call the Greater Parkersburg Convention & Visitors Bureau office at 304-428-1130.