The Parkersburg Paddlefest Weekend, a three-day festival dedicated to people-powered watercraft, scheduled for September 18 to September 20, 2020 has been canceled. In addition, the Riverfest Sternwheel Festival scheduled for the 18th and 19th at Point Park has also been canceled. The decision comes as Governor Justice announced Executive Order 9-20, as amended, to close all fairs, festivals, and similar events throughout the state of West Virginia.
Mark Lewis, President of the Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau indicated, “The Parkersburg CVB regrets to announce the cancelation of 2020 Paddlefest Weekend but we look forward to the event returning in September of 2021.” Lewis added, “We will miss working with Scot Heckert and the organizers of the Riverfest Sternwheel Festival to put on a great weekend of activities at Point Park, but we understand and support the Executive Order issued by Governor Justice which was made as the result of the ongoing concerns for public safety related to the spread of Covid-19.”
The main event of Paddlefest is traditionally a three-mile paddle on a stretch of the Ohio River, from Point Park downriver to Blennerhassett Island and back. According to Lewis, Paddlefest weekend kicks-off on a Friday with a lighted paddle up the Little Kanawha River from Point Park. Paddlefest participants are encouraged to attend “The Downtown Throwdown BBQ & Brewfest” and see the iconic Sternwheelers at the Riverfest Festival adjacent to the Paddelfest activities. Sunday finishes up with a farewell lake paddling excursion on North Bend State Park Lake. The Downtown Throwdown BBQ and Brewfest has also been canceled for 2020 due to the current COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on fairs and festivals.
The Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau’s mission is to generate economic growth for the Greater Parkersburg area through effective sales and marketing to the leisure, sports, group tour and meeting and conference markets and by providing superior customer service to our visitors and partners.”